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  • 3 min
  • 04/12/2022

5 Misconceptions About Divorce

As common as divorce is, there are still many misconceptions about it, which can make the process more difficult on the divorcing couple. Below are five of the most common misconceptions about divorce along with an explanation as to why they’re false.

Only Women Can Receive Spousal Support

There’s a good reason for this misconception – for years this was the case in most divorces. However, this had less to do with only women receiving support and is actually attributed to traditional family roles where men tended to work, and women were homemakers. In today’s world women and men tend to share the responsibility of working, and many women even out earn their spouses. Additionally, more and more men are choosing to be stay-at-home dads.

The intention of spousal support is to provide support when there is a serious income imbalance due to one spouse providing non-monetary support to the relationship instead of a monetary contribution. Another thing to keep in mind is that spousal support itself is awarded as often anymore, but if or when it is awarded, there’s no guarantee that only the wife may receive it.

The Mother Always Gets Custody

Again, this misconception has its roots in history. In the past it was more common for the mother to get primary custody of the children because she was the primary caretaker. In today’s world, once again, parents are more equally sharing the care of their children. This means should a father want to fight for primary custody they don’t have as big of a battle to fight. Courts now side equally with parents and will choose a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.

Assets are Split in Half

While you might think that the court’s default decision will be to cut your assets in half and split them evenly, this isn’t always the case. The courts are more concerned with an equitable division of assets, which does not necessarily mean equal division. What this means is that the distribution of assets must be fair. The process takes into account the financial standing of each spouse.

When dividing assets the courts will consider marital assets and non-marital assets.  Marital assets are generally assets acquired during the marriage, while non-marital assets are those acquired before the marriage or through inheritance or gift. Generally, only marital assets are divided between spouses, while non-marital assets are not.

If Your Ex Fails to Pay Child Support You Can Withhold Visitation

This is a very common misconception, and one that causes many problems often for the custodial parent who tries to withhold visits. Child support is a completely separate issue from visitation. This means that even if the noncustodial parent has defaulted on child support payments they are still entitled to visitation with their child.

The reverse is also true. If the custodial parent withholds visitation, the noncustodial parent cannot decide to stop making child support payments until visits resume. 

You Don’t Need a Lawyer to Get a Divorce

This one is technically true. Yes, you can fill out and file all of the paperwork yourself, and represent yourself for your divorce. You can even try to use an online legal service to help you gather the forms. However, it’s important that you keep in mind that it will be far more difficult and stressful. Additionally, in the event you go to court you’ll be forced to represent yourself which can cost you more money and time in the long run. Working with an attorney is meant to make the process easier on you and produce positive outcomes.

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