Common Misconceptions About Divorce

If you are experiencing divorce, you may have some preconceptions about the divorce process and court system. These assumptions may seem insignificant, but acting on them can cost you when it comes to your divorce settlement.

Our divorce attorneys frequently hear certain incorrect assumptions about divorce. By understanding the truth behind these misconceptions, you can experience divorce proceedings with a better understanding of what to expect and how to work toward the outcome you want.

Divorce Always Involves a Contentious Court Battle

Thanks to courtroom dramas and viral Reddit stories, many people assume divorce is always a lengthy, bitter process involving contentious debates in your local courthouse. While high-conflict divorces may lead to this scenario,  it is actually in a minority of cases. Relatively amicable proceedings are much more common.

Most divorces involve relatively calm negotiations about distributing assets and managing custody issues. High-conflict divorces get attention in the media because they are interesting to watch but not fun to live through. Most couples go into divorce proceedings with a clear understanding that an amicable, efficient process is in everyone’s best interests, including their children’s best interests. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can make all the difference in how smoothly this process plays out by minimizing conflict and focusing on solutions to resolve the divorce. Legal tools such as mediation are also available to help divorcing couples avoid the stress of the courtroom entirely.

I Can Expect to Get Half of Everything

Every divorce involves making decisions about how to distribute marital assets. Generally speaking, marital property includes assets acquired during the course of a marriage. People may believe the fairest way to split things between two people is down the middle. However, in New Jersey, courts will distribute assets equitably, which does not necessarily mean equally. Various factors can influence what a court considers equitable or fair, such as the division of parental responsibilities and personal debt. Assuming from the get-go that you are entitled to 50% of your marital assets can just lead to confusion and frustration down the line. This is not to say, however, that splitting assets 50/50 is uncommon. Many divorcing couples will agree in the end to split assets 50/50.

Women and Mothers Always Receive Better Child Custody Outcomes and Alimony

Because of rigid gender roles that pushed men into the workforce and women into the role of stay-at-home parents, there is a long history of women and mothers getting favorable child custody outcomes and alimony in divorces. However, modern families often do not follow this model. Several states now have laws in place to balance custody and alimony between both spouses.

Both parents sharing joint custody has become a more common arrangement. Typically, courts only award sole custody in cases involving abuse, neglect, or another extenuating circumstance such as substance abuse and severe mental health issues. Courts will also award alimony if there is a serious income imbalance and one spouse provided a clear majority of monetary support. This is most common in households with one working parent and one stay-at-home parent. Spousal support is awarded to ensure the non-breadwinner will be financially stable post-divorce without consideration of the gender of either party.

I Don’t Need an Attorney for My Divorce

You can technically make it through a divorce without an attorney. However, this decision will likely cost you more in substantive terms than you would save on legal fees. Without the guidance of a divorce lawyer, you are much more likely to lose out on exercising important rights or have a generally less favorable outcome.

A knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorney can help foster a positive, collaborative environment to make your divorce as smooth as possible. Additionally, divorce lawyers can help explain your rights as well as the legal tools you have available for pursuing a fair settlement. Hiring a skilled divorce lawyer can save you time and money while maintaining your peace of mind.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Attorney at Moskowitz Law Group

If you want legal representation or to learn more about the divorce process, reach out to Moskowitz Law Group. Our legal team can provide legal guidance while ensuring you are treated with the kindness and compassion you deserve. Contact our team today to discuss how we can help with your case.

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