Divorce Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions that surround the divorce process. Oftentimes, family and friends will offer advice in an attempt to assist you through your tough time. However, each one of their experiences is based on their own set of unique facts and circumstances, and will not actually pertain to or help with your particular divorce. Filled with misconceptions, many already emotionally overwhelmed spouses believe the worst regarding their upcoming divorce. It is important to separate truth from fiction, and know what will be relevant in your particular divorce case. The following are some examples of divorce misconceptions that exist in our society today.

The Mother Will Always Win Custody of the Children

This was a common truth decades ago, when societal roles were quite different and mothers were typically the ones who stayed at home to rear the children. However, today traditional roles between spouses are much harder to pin down. It is completely incorrect to believe that in modern times, the mother will always win full or even primary custody of the children in a divorce case. Additionally, there are now legal same-sex marriages in which there are no mothers at all, or perhaps two mothers. In these cases, these old stereotypical myths simply no longer hold true. Today, the standard by which most courts make determinations regarding custody involve the actual “best interest of the child” in each specific circumstance. Also, most courts attempt to always award joint custody to both parents of the child unless there are egregious or dangerous circumstances that would prevent that ruling.

Only Wives Will Ever Receive Spousal Support

Just as roles within the family have changed with respect to children, so have roles regarding who is the breadwinner of the home. While in the past, women typically stayed at home to raise children and manage the home, there are many instances now of men staying at home to be stay-at-home dads. Regardless of the actual reason, the truth is that there are many instances in which the wife will have to pay spousal support under a court order. Every marriage’s facts and circumstances will dictate which spouse will receive spousal support or if any spousal support will be required at all.

All Property and Debt is Divided 50/50

The old belief that all property and all debt are both divided exactly in half is no longer true. Courts now look to attempt to equitably divide both property and debt between spouses. This is critical because in some cases, one spouse may have a medical or professional practice that needs to be divided or there is a family marital home that needs to somehow be split between two parties. In these cases, creative financing can ensure that both parties receive an equitable share of the marital assets and debts without it all being divided exactly 50/50.

Child Custody Rests With a Parent’s Ability to Pay Child Support

Child support and child custody matters are two completely separate legal issues. If a parent is unable or unwilling to make child support payments, this needs to be brought to the court's attention and they will issue specific guidance regarding the non-payment or even the garnishment of wages in certain cases. However, under no circumstances should a custodial parent think that they have any legal right to withhold visitation from another parent simply due to their inability or unwillingness to pay child support.

You do Not Need a Divorce Lawyer

Legally speaking, it is true that you do not need a divorce lawyer to get a divorce. However, if you fail to receive proper legal counseling or advice regarding your divorce, you may lose your legal right to financial property or assets, or lose the right to receive the maximum amount of child visitation you have the right to under the law. Even if you are attempting to have an amicable divorce, or going through the mediation process, it is critical that you receive legal advice that will help you make sure that you make the best decisions throughout all of the complicated circumstances involved in the divorce process.

How an Experienced Divorce Attorney Can Help You

Learn how an experienced family law attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC in Charlotte, North Carolina at 704.370.2828 can help you with your divorce case. Contact us by phone or online today for your free consultation.