Don’t Believe Everything You Hear about Divorce
There are a lot of misconceptions about divorce. That wouldn’t be such a problem if those misconceptions did not lead to any repercussions. But when it comes to the high stakes of divorce, misinformation can cost you important assets or cause you to make poor choices that undermine the settlement you deserve.
It’s important that you talk to an experienced Mesa divorce attorney about the issues involved in your divorce, rather than being led astray by these common myths about divorce. It’s also important that you educate yourself a bit on the issues. Here are some of the common misconceptions you might hear about divorce, with the truth:
Myth: Both Partners Get Half the Assets
All your assets and property are community property, meaning that they belong to both you and your partner. So you may think that in your divorce, you’ll just divide those assets right down the middle. However, that’s not always the way that things turn out.
The courts aim to provide an “equitable” division of assets, and equitable does not always mean equal. In addition, you may end up trading off on assets, so that you get more of one or less of another, but your total allocation is more or less the same. For example, you might get to keep the house, but your partner gets to take more of your investment accounts. There may also be assets that were inherited before the marriage or that are otherwise considered separate, and these may not be divided.
Myth: Only Women Get Spousal Support
The common myth about spousal support, commonly known as alimony, is that women are the only ones who get it. The traditional notion is that men are the breadwinners, and divorce leaves the woman in the vulnerable financial position. The idea is that either the woman wasn’t working at all or that she was making less than the man, so she needs the continuing financial support.
However, the truth is that women can make just as much as or more than men. Women can be ordered to pay spousal support just as they may be ordered to receive it. The courts award spousal support far less frequently these days, though, so it may be that neither partner gets that support, unless there is start disparity between their incomes.
Myth: Women Always Get Custody of the Kids
Again, the traditional notion is that women are staying home – usually to take care of the kids. The idea is that women are better at caring for children, given their natural “maternal” natures. But this just isn’t always the case. Many times, the father is the better parent and should have more time with the child.
The courts are going to award custody based on what is in the best interests of the children, and in almost all cases, spending time with both parents is what is in their best interest. If one parent is abusive or if there is another reason to award more time with one parent over the other, the court will act accordingly – whether the parent in question is a man or a woman.
Myth: Child Support is Linked to Visitation
You may have a co-parent who isn’t paying their ordered child support – either in part or in total. Therefore, you may feel within your rights to limit visitation. However, doing so would be a big mistake.
The courts do link the issue of child support and child visitation. Even if a parent is not paying child support, they are still entitled to visitation, as ordered in your child custody agreement. If the person is not paying child support, that is something you need to bring before the courts and deal with as a separate issue. The courts can order wage garnishment or other measures to ensure the support is paid.
Myth: You Don’t Need to Hire a Divorce Lawyer
Technically, you can file your own divorce paperwork, show up in court, and get a divorce decree from a judge. Legally, you do not need to hire a divorce lawyer to get divorced. However, you absolutely should hire a lawyer to handle your divorce.
An experienced divorce attorney in Phoenix will help you understand all the points of law that apply to your case and will guide you on what’s at stake. With a good divorce lawyer on your side, you will know what you are entitled to and what you can fight for. Without an attorney, you are more likely to make choices that cost you dearly or to be led astray by your partner or your partner’s attorney. Your attorney will ensure you have all the facts so that you know exactly what you are entitled to and fight to help you get a fair settlement.
Call My AZ Lawyers today to talk with an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney about your options. Our dedicated divorce attorneys are ready to help you get the settlement you deserve and to create the child custody and support agreement that’s right for your family. We can also help you to modify a previous order, where appropriate. Call us today to talk with an attorney and learn more.
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