Dispelling common divorce myths

A marriage ending in divorce has become fairly common. With the increased occurrence, the media, and even TV and movie drama depictions, there are many myths and misconceptions about divorce. While it is never easy to end a marriage, it can be a little less stressful knowing which notions hold ground and which do not. Here are some facts about divorce that dispel some common myths.

Divorce cannot be denied

When you file for divorce, one party cannot stop the divorce from happening. Likewise, a judge will not deny your divorce. Whether your divorce agreement is settled through mediation or your issues are resolved at trial, the divorce will be granted.

You will most likely not end up in a courtroom

This is the dramatic depiction of divorce, but in truth, only a small fraction of divorce cases end up in litigation. In many cases, an agreement is reached outside of the courtroom, often resulting in less time, money and emotional stress.

Spousal support is not a guarantee

Many people believe that wives will always get spousal support (a.k.a alimony), but this is not the case. If the woman was a stay-at-home mother whose job was child rearing while the husband provided income, then spousal support may be granted, often in a temporary capacity to give the ex-wife time to gain employment or training needed to secure employment.

Also, many states are now recognizing that these traditional gender roles are not always the norm and somewhat outdated. Likewise, the same holds true if the husband stayed at home while the wife worked outside of the home, or in the case of same-sex couples.

Child support and visitation rights are separate matters

Often, people believe they can withhold one or the other to resolve conflicts, but this is not true. Child support and visitation are two separate issues and one does not influence the outcome of the other.

Children do not choose a parent to live with

A child can express preference to live with one parent and depending on the age of the child, the court may consider the child’s wishes. However, when determining custody the court will consider a number of factors and ultimately make the decision based on the best interests of the child.

Divorce does not have to be filed in the same state as the marriage

You need to satisfy residency requirements according to a particular state’s guidelines to file for divorce in that state. If you are married in one state and move to another, you do not need to file for divorce in the state you were married.

Divorce is difficult and stressful for any family. Some of the common myths about divorce can cause people to take actions contrary to their best interests. If you are contemplating divorce and have questions, it is wise to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can dispel the myths, explain the process and help you take the right steps in reaching a divorce agreement.