If you are considering getting a divorce, you likely have some preconceived notions about the process from various sources, including movies, television, and anecdotal stories from friends or acquaintances. However, much of what we understand and know about divorce is heavily tainted with myths and exaggerations of the truth. It is important to have a clear idea of what this process entails before you begin, so take some time to debunk some of the most common divorce myths.
The Truth About Divorce
The last thing you want to do is base any of your divorce-related decisions on myths. To properly move forward, we compiled a list of frequently believed divorce myths to shed some clarity on this complex legal process.
- You cannot get a divorce if your spouse refuses to go along with it: Your spouse cannot force you to remain married. His or her refusal will prolong the process a bit, but if you want to get a divorce, nothing can stop you. Generally, if a spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, the person petitioning for a divorce can request a default divorce. Of course, ideally, you would want your spouse to participate in this process, but if you are worried that you will be stuck in a marriage you do not want, this is not the case.
- The majority of divorce cases end up in court: We have all watched our fair share of courtroom dramas, but do not let the silver screen lead you to believe most divorce cases go through litigation. The majority of divorce cases are able to settle out of court through different alternative means, including mediation and collaborative divorce.
- You will receive a bigger settlement if your spouse cheats on you: One of the biggest misconceptions about divorce is that the law somehow factors in adultery when spouses divorce. You will not lose everything just for cheating on your spouse. However, if you wastefully dissipated assets, it would affect the amount of marital assets and property you receive. For example, if you wasted a substantial sum of marital funds on your lover, your spouse would receive more to compensate for the assets you wasted on the affair.
- Judges favor mothers when it comes to child custody: Although this was certainly true in the past, these days, a judge will base custody decisions on the fitness of each parent and the best interests of the children. In most cases, it is believed that the involvement of both parents suits the best interests of the children, which is why shared custody is often granted.
- If you hire a lawyer, your divorce will be more expensive: Although hiring an attorney will obviously cost, it will not be nearly as much as it would be if you were to handle it on your own. An experienced divorce attorney will help you avoid making costly mistakes that can derail the outcome of your divorce, ultimately saving you time and money.
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