What you don't know about divorce can hurt you. Below are five common misconceptions about divorce that will hopefully clear up misunderstandings, especially for those thinking about divorce but have no experience.
1. Living Together Before Marriage Decreases the Risk of Divorce: Several studies have shown that couples of live together before marriage have a higher chance of divorce in the first 10 years of marriage. However, a recent study came to the conclusion that the reason a couple moves in together greatly affects whether they will divorce. If a couple is engaged and move in together as a step toward marriage they do not have an increased risk of divorce.
2. Mothers Always Win Gain Custody: There is a common misconception that child custody is a gender biased issue, one that favors mothers. Most courts now favor joint or shared custody arrangements in most divorce situations. The number of joint custody awards has substantially increased over the last decade.
3. No-Fault Divorce is Quicker and Cheaper: "No-fault" means you can get a divorce without having to prove you have grounds for the divorce. How long a divorce takes and how much you spend will depend on the issues involved during the divorce process. If there are many assets to split and a couple cannot come to an agreement a no-fault divorce can be as long and drawn out as an at-fault divorce.
4. Marital Assets Are Split 50/50: A common misconception is that all of the couple's assets and debts will be split fifty-fifty, down the middle. However, sometimes what is fair and equitable is not a 50/50 split. One spouse may be ordered to pay more debt than the other spouse, but may be awarded more property in consideration of the larger amount of debt. Or, one spouse may be allowed to keep the house without paying equity to the other spouse, rather than receiving an equal portion of the retirement account.
5. My Spouse Will be Punished For Cheating: Although cheating goes against the moral fiber of society, in divorce court a judge will not take it into consideration. A judge will decide custody and distribute marital property based on the best interest of the child and what is fair and equitable to each spouse.