Common Divorce Myths
Unfortunately, divorce is not always a straightforward undertaking. The way divorce is portrayed on television and in movies is not the most accurate, and has perpetrated some misconceptions about the process and its outcomes.
Contrary to what the news, TV dramas, and movies tell us:
Most states require that spouses pursuing divorce come to some form of settlement through the help of attorneys and mediation.
Most divorce cases do not go before a jury, and many are settled without the need for litigation. Some cases are even settled collaboratively, where both spouses and their attorneys work together to prepare a mutual agreement.
Some other common misconceptions regarding divorce include:
Divorce Myth: I am entitled to and will be awarded alimony payments, probably for the rest of my life.
Fact: Most cases do not award alimony payments to either spouse, especially not on a permanent basis. Some states will award a spouse with temporary alimony payments if the judge determines the necessity to do so.
Divorce Myth: I will be able to win more than 50% of the marital property easily in my divorce.
Fact: Most states divide marital property and assets 50/50 between both spouses, except in rare cases involving abuse (spousal or child), or large disparities in income brought in by each spouse. Proof must be provided and the division of the property is up to the court.
Divorce Myth: I bought property or a car under my name while I was married, so therefore that property belongs solely to me.
Fact: Many states, like Texas, apply “community property” law to divorce. This means that any money earned or any property obtained (and any debt accrued) is the joint property of both spouses, regardless of whose name is on the ownership papers. Check with an attorney to find out about the laws regarding property for your state.
Divorce Myth: If my spouse commits adultery, I will be awarded everything in the divorce settlement.
Fact: It may seem very unfair if you are the victim in an adultery case, but your spouse is still entitled to their share of your marital assets. It is up to the court’s discretion or the settlement agreement you, your spouse and your attorneys reach what percentage of assets and property you are actually awarded. Adultery does not guarantee you will receive all or most of your joint property.