Divorce myths can have a dramatic impact on your case and/or your expectations. It is important not to fall for them, even if they are related to you by well-meaning family members who are really just trying to help.
In an effort to help you avoid future problems, here are three of the most common divorce myths we hear:
Myth: The court will punish your spouse for being unfaithful
They won’t. Divorce court isn’t for handing out punishments. It’s for legally dissolving the marriage. They’re not going to punish you or your spouse for your moral decisions, including being unfaithful to the marriage. Adultery can impact your divorce case in certain ways, however. For example, if your spouse spent a lot of the marital money on their affair, you could have a right to a larger share of the remaining assets — but that’s only in the interest of fairness.
Myth: You can deny visitation rights when you do not get child support payments
If you and your spouse share custody, you can’t deny their rights for any reason. If they do not pay the proper amount for child support, there are legal ways to enforce or modify the order. Do not tell them they can’t see the kids until they pay. That’s not within your rights to do — and it could have disastrous consequences for you.
Myth: The judge can decide not to let you get divorced
When you go to court, you’re asking the judge to help you with the divorce process. You’re generally not asking for permission to split up. In the modern court system, a judge generally won’t deny a divorce and force anyone to stay in a marriage that they want to leave.
You must understand your rights
Divorce is complicated. As you can see, there are many myths to watch for, and you must know your legal rights. Working with an experienced advocate is the best way to protect your future.