Five Myths and Misconceptions about Divorce

Couple hands facing divorce

Every divorce is unique, from a legal and an emotional perspective. Well-meaning family members and friends vocalize their opinions about divorce, often based on myths and misconceptions that they have heard in the media, or on television or in the movies. Lawyers spend a significant amount of time explaining the divorce process and legal procedures to their clients, due to false assumptions about divorce. The realities of divorce are best discussed and handled by an experienced and trusted divorce attorney, who can clarify your rights and obligations in a divorce proceeding. At The Law Offices of Frank P. Remsen, we are dedicated to providing our clients with personalized, high quality services in all matters related to family and divorce law. Some of our services include divorce through mediation or litigation, modifications, parenting plans, child support, alimony, property division, paternity issues, and custody matters.

Some Common Divorce Myths Include:

1. Divorce is always a contentious legal battle. This may be true for some, however there are many uncontested divorces, whereas the spouses work amicably to dissolve the marriage. Or there are contested divorces that are able to work through their differences in mediation. A respectful and civil relationship between divorcing spouses is encouraged by the court system, as this benefits the children, your health, and your financial future. Under Florida law, spouses filing for a divorce are mandated to go through a mediation process to resolve points of contention and craft the terms of a Marital Settlement Agreement. It is only when mediation fails that a case can be reviewed and decided by a judge.

2. The mother is always favored in custody issues regarding the children. While the courts have historically sided with the mother for custody rights, child development experts and judges now believe that equitable timesharing is most beneficial for the health and well being of children. The court system places the needs of the children ahead of the needs of the parents. Parenting plans outline specific shared roles and responsibilities for both parents, often having equal time in both residences.

3. The ex-husband always pays alimony. Alimony, also referred to as spousal support, is now gender neutral and based on one spouse’s need and the other spouse’s ability to pay. The higher earning spouse can expect to pay temporary or permanent alimony, especially if the other spouse is disabled or incapacitated. The lower earning or unemployed spouse may need time and resources to re-enter the work force and alimony may be granted until they are financially independent. The purpose of alimony is to help the recipient pay for basic needs, such as housing, utilities, and food.

4. The division of property and debts is split equally. The court separates pre-marital and marital assets and debts, such as bank accounts, life insurance policies, personal property, real estate, businesses, vehicles, and inheritances that are not co-mingled. Other factors taken into consideration are the future needs of both spouses, reckless spending of either spouse, and pre or post-nuptial agreements. Equitable distribution is the fair split of assets and debts that were incurred during the marriage.

5. An attorney is not needed for a divorce. While this statement is factually accurate, your future is too important to risk. Uninformed couples in a divorce tend to choose the wrong options, with devastating emotional and financial consequences. An attorney is an invaluable resource and will advocate on your behalf, knowing the pertinent laws and legal procedures.

At The Law Offices of Frank P. Remsen, P.A., we are here for you with compassionate understanding and guidance. We are located in Tavares, Clermont, Orlando, and Lake Mary, Florida. We can be contacted for a free initial evaluation at 352-243-1247 or 407-898-8822.