Divorce can be a complicated and potentially contentious process, but many of the assumptions about divorce outcomes may be misinformation. In order to address some of the potential confusion you may have over your upcoming or potential divorce, we’ve put together a list of six of the most common divorce myths.
The mother will get custody.
In the past, many states would automatically award custody to the mother for children five years old and younger. Recently, however, that has been rejected as the automatic standard, and can be the “tie breaker” outcome if both parents are equally fit and capable of raising their children. When the courts make their custody rulings, they will base their decision around the children’s best interests.
The ex-wife will receive alimony.
Alimony is based on the financial situation of both parties. Not only is it untrue that all divorces include alimony, it is also untrue that ex-wives are guaranteed to receive alimony. If the ex-husband was financially dependent on his ex-spouse or if his ex-spouse was in a significantly stronger financial situation, the courts may rule that the ex-wife is responsible for paying alimony.
My spouse cheated on me, so I should get everything.
Just because you or your spouse were unfaithful doesn’t necessarily give either party an advantage in court. Many states, including Florida, allow “no fault” divorces, which means that either you or your spouse may file for a divorce without needing to provide a reason other than they don’t want to be married anymore. Before “no fault” divorces became more commonplace, the person filing for a divorce needed to prove that there was grounds for the divorce, which could include anything from adultery to abuse. However, adultery has the potential to affect child custody or property division depending on the case.
You can only file for divorce in the state you were married in.
This is untrue across the United States. Life can take you far away from where you were married, and courts will not require you to return to that state in order to file for divorce.
Divorces always end up in court
Not only is this not true, there are a lot of reasons to pursue a mediated divorce. Mediated divorces can be less contentious in most cases and they can also make your separation more amicable and noticeably less expensive.
I don’t need to hire a lawyer to represent me
While you are not legally obligated to hire a lawyer, it may end up costing you more in the long run if you don’t have experienced legal counsel. Unless you have a law degree, going up against your spouse’s lawyer can put you at a severe disadvantage during any negotiation. If you choose to file for a divorce or if your spouse has filed for one, hiring a qualified divorce lawyer will give you the best chance for a favorable outcome, especially if things become contentious.
At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys are prepared to protect you and fight for your rights during negotiations or in the courtroom. With over 135 years of collective experience, our firm is ready to give you the legal counsel you need during your time of need. Contact us today through our website, or call us at (813) 336-3348 to set up a meeting with one of our divorce lawyers.