Most people think they know quite a bit about divorce, even if they have never been through it themselves. However, they likely only have secondhand or thirdhand information. Maybe their information comes from what they’ve seen on television. Of course, a lot of the things you think you know simply aren’t true. Below, we will be debunking some of the common myths about divorce.
Myth: A Mother Will Always Have Physical Custody
This is a pervasive myth, and there are some good reasons for it to have lasted as long as it has. It’s because a lot of times, mothers do end up getting custody of the kids and spending more time with them. This was quite common in the past, and even though it does still happen, mothers don’t always get more custody rights.
Many states today try to provide an equal balance between the mother and father, believing it is better for the children. There are plenty of cases where fathers have full custody of the children.
Myth: Only Women Get Spousal Support
This is another one of those gendered myths about divorce that does have some basis in truth. Historically, most of the people who received spousal support were women. This wasn’t because the courts favored women, but it was because men were the ones who had the jobs more often and would typically have higher-paying jobs.
Times are changing today. Women are not only capable of caring for themselves financially, but they sometimes make a lot more than their husbands. This has led to more men receiving spousal support while they try to get themselves back on their feet.
Myth: Having Children Will Prevent Divorce
Having kids is not going to make your marriage better. It’s not going to change the problems you and your spouse are having. Most of the time, it will only make things worse. The problems you already have will just be larger. If you have been talking about divorce, having kids will not make the issues go away.
Myth: All Divorces Go to Trial
Although television shows might make you feel that all divorces are going to go through a trial in front of a judge, that’s not the case. Most of the time, the divorce will be settled before getting to court. This is better for you and your spouse since it means you will be the ones who decide how things play out. If you let it go to the court, the judge will decide.
Myth: All of Your Property Will Be Split
The way that property can be divided will vary between states. Arizona is a community property state, which means that everything you gained after marriage is considered to belong to both you and your spouse. It will typically be split as evenly as possible, although it’s not usually a strict 50/50 division.
Separate property is that which you had before the marriage, or that which you inherited, for example. Most of the time, separate property will not have to be split with your spouse.
There could be exceptions, though, such as for co-mingled property. This might include a house you inherited, which would be separate, but you used community funds to pay the homeowner’s insurance. This could give the property a co-mingled status, which would need to be sorted out. But don’t let this myth about divorce prevent you from researching the topic to learn more.
Myth: Your Spouse Has to Agree to the Divorce
You don’t need permission from your spouse to get a divorce. Arizona is a no-fault state, for example, which means that you don’t even need to prove the reason for getting a divorce was the fault of your spouse. You can file for a divorce without your spouse even being aware until they are served with the divorce papers.
Myth: You Have to Divorce in the State Where You Got Married
Some people believe that you are required to get divorced in the same state where you tied the knot. Fortunately, that’s not true. Consider just how much people move today. They move to be closer to family, to work, etc. They often don’t stay in the same state where they got married. If they were only allowed to divorce in that state, it would be a major hassle.
One party will simply need to establish residency in the state where you live currently. In Arizona, for example, you will need to be a resident for at least 90 days before filing for a divorce.
Myth: You Are Required to Have an Attorney
One of the other myths that you might hear is that you will always need to have an attorney when you are getting a divorce. This is simply not true. There is no requirement that you have an attorney. If you have a simple, uncontested divorce, you won’t need to work with a lawyer.
However, when you have a case with more complexity, it will often be in your best interest to have an attorney on your side. Those who have children and custody issues, and those who have large estates, for example, will often benefit from working with a lawyer.
Myth: All Problems End After Divorce
Sometimes, people get divorced because they are tired of the stress they feel and the constant fights they have with their spouse. Maybe they are divorcing because of money problems. They feel that once they are divorced, all of their problems are going to magically disappear.
Of course, this isn’t the way things work. While some problems might improve, others could appear. Getting a divorce is not a fix to all of your woes, and you need to realize that. You might still have financial problems, and you might still argue with your ex about your children.
This doesn’t mean that it’s better to stay married when you aren’t happy, of course. It just means that divorce is not a magic pill that makes everything better.
Talk with an Attorney
The best way you can get the real scoop about divorce is to get in touch with an attorney who can answer all of your questions. They can help you unravel and debunk other myths about divorce.