Share This Post
4 Divorce Myths
Divorce is tricky. It’s messy, often uncomfortable, and usually characterized by feelings of disrepair—both you and the marriage. Many myths surrounding divorce have circulated throughout society, and most of them cause even more confusion and emotional turmoil than help the situation at hand. We’ve discussed a few of the most common ones below to help clear them up before proceeding with the end of your marriage.
1. A Mother Will Always Get Child Custody
For years, the common divorce myth that mothers always get child custody has prevented many fathers from fighting for their right to spend time with and make decisions for their children.
The truth is that only one person can be granted full custody; however, it is not always the mother who gets it. When shared custody is not an option or if a mother or father believes that shared custody would not be in their child’s best interests, sole custody will be granted to whichever parent can prove themselves as more fit to take care of the child in question.
The final ruling is given by the judge based on a cumulation of many different factors regarding the case.
2. Women Can Only Receive Alimony or Spousal Support
Spousal support is a payment from one spouse to the other after the divorce. The purpose of spousal support is to help both spouses maintain their standard of living, and it does not depend on gender. Sometimes referred to as alimony, a judge awards spousal support after reviewing the marriage, the duration of unemployment, and any children that may need support.
The spouses may agree on the amount and length of spousal support before filing for divorce. However, if they can’t agree, a judge will step in and decide based on state law. The amount awarded by a judge can vary greatly depending on the specifics of each case.
3. Divorce Always Happens in Court
Couples do have to file divorce papers with the court, but this doesn’t mean all questions in the separation must be settled by a judge. More and more couples are opting for what is called alternative dispute resolution. This process involves sitting down informally and discussing the divorce terms with a mediator or negotiator present. Mediation is not only faster and less formal, but it is significantly less expensive than attending several court sessions to hash out asset division and spousal support. In some states, an attempt at mediation is even required before legal proceedings.
4. All Assets are Divided Equally
When two people divorce, their assets are divided between them. Some states use a community property system to divide marital assets fairly. Under this system, all of the property acquired during the marriage is divided equally between the spouses in a divorce.
Other states use an equitable division model for dividing assets. In these states, assets are divided equitably or relatively, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they are split equally 50/50. Instead, a judge will look at both spouses’ financial situations to determine what would be fair in each case.
In some states, equitable and community property division systems can be combined. For example, a judge may decide that splitting all of the property down the middle is unfair if one spouse needs more support than the other after splitting up.
Divorce Myths: Conclusion
Most divorce myths are rooted in some sense of truth, and however, they tend to be slightly exaggerated or misguided. We can’t provide legal advice here, but we can attempt to dispel these myths and help you make better decisions based on the facts. If you have concerns or questions about divorce, consult with one of our divorce attorneys for a better idea of how to get through this divorce as quickly as possible.