How many times have you heard that 50% of marriages end in divorce? I bet you’ve also heard that the divorce rate is on the rise. Both of these statements are actually false.
There are so many myths surrounding divorce. Here are some of the most common I come across regarding the divorce process:
Myth: A Spouse Can Deny the Other Spouse a Divorce
In the old days, before no-fault divorces, a spouse could make it almost impossible for the other to end the marriage. One would have to prove that their spouse cheated on them, abused them, abandoned them, etc. Today, a spouse cannot be “trapped” in a marriage. No-fault means that no one has to stay married if they don’t want to; and, no one has to prove anything.
Myth: Divorces Are Always Really Expensive
Sure, if you’re a reading the tabloids about all of those “multi-million dollar divorces,” you may begin to assume that divorce is always an extremely costly endeavor. The truth is that unless you’re a celebrity, that’s likely not the case. This is not to say that divorce is inexpensive, but when the parties involved are reasonable and somewhat amicable, legal fees associated with the divorce process can be very manageable.
Myth: All Ex-Wives Get Alimony
This is not true. In many cases, women don’t get alimony at all. Generally speaking, permanent alimony is awarded to stay-at-home mothers who have been married for at least 18 years and who have been out of the workplace and lack the necessary job skills necessary to find sufficient employment. However, even if the woman hasn’t worked at all during the marriage, if she has the skill set and physical ability to find a job that pays as well as her ex’s, she may not receive any alimony at all.
Myth: The Mother Automatically Gets Custody of the Children
While it’s true that in many cases mothers do end up the custodial parent, the mother doesn’t automatically get the kids. In cases where both parents are seeking custody, the court acts in the best interests of the child. This means that even if the mother was the primary caregiver throughout the marriage, both parents are entitled to equal time with the children. If both parents are fit to raise the child, shared custody is typically granted.
Myth: A Spouse Can Deny Visitation if the Other Parent Does Not Pay Child Support
In a divorce, child support and timesharing (visitation) are viewed as two completely separate issues. Child support is not payment for the privilege of visitation and vice versa. If a parent isn’t following through with child support payments, the other parent cannot deny visitation as punishment.
Myth: Children Choose Which Parents They Want to Live With
Child custody is decided by the courts and based on the best interests of the children. In general, the courts do not allow children to dictate this decision.
These are just a few of the myths surrounding divorce; the list could certainly go on. Perhaps the reason why there are so many myths about divorce is due to its complicated nature; each divorce is unique, as are the individuals and circumstances involved. The knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys at Klein Law Group can help answer your questions.