TOP 5 MYTHS ABOUT DIVORCE
In doing thousands of consultations for divorce it never fails that I hear the same misconceptions from almost every potential client that walks through my door. We are providing the information in this article to debunk the top 5 common misconceptions about divorce.
Myth #1: The woman always wins. I cannot tell you how many times a week I hear this from clients, male and female. I have men who think that no matter what, since they are the man, they will pay spousal support. I have female clients who believe that since they are the mother they get primary custody of the children. These misconceptions are common and they are wrong. Our laws tell our judges expressly and unequivocally that gender is not a basis to award support and not a basis to deny a parent custody. Just because you are a man doesn’t mean you will lose and just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you will win. The outcome of your case will be driven by the facts and the law but not by your gender.
My #2: I can cut off everything from my spouse while going through my divorce until a judge tells me otherwise. Again, this is just not true and frankly, spouses that cut off their significant other during the divorce process are taking a terrible risk. I recently had a client who was going through a divorce find out that her spouse cut off her health insurance in the middle of the divorce. Needless to say, my client incurred significant medical expenses that her now ex-husband is paying 100% due to his vindictive actions. The bottom line is that it is better to ask the judge for permission to stop paying certain expenses during a divorce than to simply cut-off the other person. Cutting off your soon to be ex during divorce proceedings will probably only anger the judge and may end up costing you more in the long run.
Myth #3: The judge can force us to counseling or can deny a divorce altogether. Judges cannot force a spouse that wants a divorce to go to counseling. Furthermore, if one party wants a divorce and the other party doesn’t, there is a good chance that the divorce will be granted. The idea that a judge will try to have divorcing parties reconcile as part of the divorce process just isn’t true.
Myth #4: One lawyer can represent both of us and save us money and time. Also, not true. There may be very limited circumstances where an attorney can draft paperwork on behalf of both parties; however, there are significant ethical issues and potential malpractice problems when lawyers try to represent both parties. In cases where an attorney does serve to draft paperwork on behalf of both parties, if there is a problem in the future, that lawyer will not be able to represent either party and the parties will need to each hire new attorneys to resolve future issues.
Myth #5: I can just have my soon to be ex pay my attorney’s fees. The decision of whether to have one spouse pay for the other spouse’s attorney is completely up to the judge. There is no guarantee that the other side will be required to pay your attorney fees nor is there any guarantee that if fees are awarded, that the award will pay the attorney 100% of their fees. Usually, the award of attorney fees is based upon several factors and is totally within the judge’s discretion.
We hope this article has been helpful to debunk the common myths of divorce. If you or someone you know needs of a divorce attorney, call us today. We can help.