Divorce can be a challenge, and there are many myths out there that can make it even more confusing. We have set the record straight on four of the most common pieces of misinformation about divorce so that you will have a better idea what to expect in your own case.
Myth #1: My ex-spouse has no claim over any assets listed in my name.
The laws for dividing property vary from state to state, but as a general rule, any assets that a spouse owned before they were married are considered separate property and are solely theirs. Any assets that were acquired through the use of marital funds during the marriage are considered marital property, and will be divided between the spouses in a divorce. You might be wondering, what if my name is the only one on the mortgage or the title? Regardless if only one spouse is listed as the owner of the asset, if it was paid for or maintained at any point using marital funds, both spouses will have a claim to it.
Myth #2: Children will always end up in their mother’s custody.
While many children do end up with their mothers, this is not always the case. The primary aim of the courts is to determine what is in the best interests of the child when making a decision about which parent to grant custody to. Judges will consider things like each parent’s living situation, income, and the relationship the child has with each parent. If the child is old enough to make an informed decision, their preference may also be a deciding factor. Ultimately, the judge will decide on whatever will be least disruptive to the child’s life. If the judge determines that the father is the more suitable parent, then they will likely be granted child custody.
Myth #3: My cheating spouse will pay for their behavior in court.
Unless you specifically made arrangements for this contingency in a prenuptial agreement, a judge will not give preference to you over a spouse based on their infidelity. Because all states now offer “no-fault” divorces, judges are typically not interested in the reason why the marriage ended, and infidelity won’t have any effect on property division.
Myth #4: More than 50 percent of all U.S. marriages end in divorce.
This myth is based on research that is over 30 years old, and this statistic is no longer accurate. The current rate of divorce in the U.S. is not estimated at closer to 30 percent, and continues to slowly decline. This decline is probably due in part to the growing number of people who are waiting longer or choosing not to get married. Evidence suggests a correlation between the age of the couple when they married and the likelihood that their marriage will last, and marriages between older couples tend to last longer.
Myth #5: Divorce is always expensive.
Not all divorces end up being expensive. If couples are willing, mediation is a helpful and cost-effective way for couples to come to an agreement about the terms of their divorce. This is done outside of court with the help of a lawyer or mediator. The mediator can help couples work together in a peaceful and constructive way so that costly litigation can be avoided. Stephen J. Plog and Adria L. Stein of Plog & Stein, P.C. both offer mediation services. Call our firm today to schedule your mediation session!
Are you considering a divorce? Since 1999, the Denver divorce lawyers at Plog & Stein, P.C. have represented clients in even the toughest family law matters. Request an initial case evaluation online or give us a call at (303) 781-0322