8 Myths and Misconceptions About Divorce

8 Myths and Misconceptions about divorce

  1. That there was something fundamentally “wrong” with one of you to have caused the divorce.

Not necessarily. It could be that you were meant to be just friends and that being married just wasn’t the right set up. The two of you could have been perfectly perfect. Just for somebody else.

2. That you are “sad” and “depressed” about the end of your marriage.

The fact is that not everybody is sad and depressed about their divorce. Some people feel instant relief and never look back.

3.   That if you are caught committing adultery, it won’t matter these days.

This could be true but not in every situation. There are some states, like North Carolina, where adultery could have consequences. For one thing, your paramour could be sued for alienation of affection and this could be for a lot of money. But in other states, adultery is a crime. And in other states, depending on how egregious your conduct (if you are the adulterer) this could affect your alimony, child support or even child custody demands.

4. That moms will always win custody of the children.

More and more this is not the case. It used to be years ago that moms would be the presumptive custodial parent and there is still some custody bias in some places. But by and large, more jurisdictions have a “joint custody” starting point, and if there are circumstances that mitigate against that, example, substance abuse, etc, then it could be reduced down to a partial custody scenario. But parents are expected to “co-parent” more and more and share parenting duties. They are even required these days to submit a parenting plan to the court, in a several states.

5. That an uncontested divorce is always the easiest, cheapest and quickest solution

Yes and no. The fact is that some divorces warrant intervention of the courts and of lawyers. Not every divorce is suitable for an uncontested DIY approach. In fact, if you go the uncontested route and there are issues that clearly would have been better handled by a lawyer, you could do yourself a disservice and the time it takes to rectify this could take a lot longer and cost a lot more than if you had both gotten lawyers to begin with.

6. The more expensive the divorce lawyer is, the better representation you will get.

As with anything buyer beware. Sure, you can get the cheapest lawyer in the phone book but he or she may not have the necessary skills, qualifications and know how to negotiate the best deal. But just because another lawyer costs hundreds more per hour does not mean he or she is any better or that he or she is more competent. You have to do your homework and investigate and research a lawyer and ask the right questions during your initial meeting and question the billing if you think it is too much. But whatever you do, do not assume that the more you pay it is the better service you will get. Not necessarily.

7. That Going to a “Father’s rights firm” is the best option for Fathers.

It could be but it could also be a disaster because the approach could be too contentious and make it difficult if not impossible to negotiate effectively with your spouse. It depends on your own goals and the reputation of the particular attorney in this instance, and how aggressive a representation you seek, keeping in mind that uber aggression is not always the best approach.

8. That you are automatically entitled to alimony just because your spouse makes A LOT more money than you and you were in a “long term” marriage.

Alimony is becoming a very tricky area of divorce practice because courts are increasingly looking askance at the spouse who expects lifelong financial support by virtue of having been married and they are looking at parties to aim towards being self supporting. In Massachussetts for example, life long alimony has been outlawed in recent alimony reforms. But in other states, you don’t get any alimony at all unless you have been married at least 10 years and then it depends on your own situation, whether you have work, whether you can become self-supporting, etc.

So the test is not that your spouse makes more than you and that you were married for a long time. You have to define “long time” and you have to show need. In some states like Texas, irrespective of your “need” you only get alimony for 3 years if you have been married 10 years or longer.