When a marriage comes to an end, spouses often look to friends and family for advice. However, a divorce can be highly situational and the average person may not have a detailed understanding of the legal process. What may have been correct in one case may not apply to all divorces. For example, laws are always subject to change and regulations often vary from state to state. Many divorce myths continue to be perpetuated and it can be difficult to sort out fact from fiction. For accurate advice, consider speaking to an attorney.
Four common myths about divorce can include:
- Mothers are favored in child custody: While past presumptions about gender may continue to be found in some courts, there has been a move away from these practices. A judge will determine issues of custody based on what is in the best interest of the child. Here, the court will take into account factors such as living arrangements, the ability of a parent to provide for a child, and any evidence of abusive behavior.
- You can “waive” child support: As child support is intended for the continued support of a child, one or both parents cannot simply agree that it is unnecessary. A court follows specific guidelines when determining the amount of support to be paid and must justify any deviation from the guideline amount. While parents may be given an opportunity to decide on the terms of child support, a court must still approve the motion.
- Divorce is always litigated: It is not uncommon for “divorce” to call up images of attorneys battling it out in the courtroom. However, divorce proceedings are not always litigated. In fact, spouses who are able to resolve disputes through processes such as mediation or arbitration can save both time and money. A litigated divorce is often only considered when all other methods have failed.
- One party must be at fault: This myth is the result of laws which can quickly change. Prior to 2010, New York did not have its current “no-fault” option for divorce. Before, to get a divorce spouses must (1) have been separated or (2) shown to have engaged in misconduct. Currently, a no-fault divorce may be granted if one party states that there has been a breakdown in a marriage.
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While those who perpetuate divorce myths may not do so purposefully, acting on misleading or outright wrong information can have disastrous consequences in the courtroom. If you anticipate that a divorce is on the horizon, do not waste any time in contacting the Hedayati Law Group, P.C. Our Long Island family law attorneys can advise you at every step of the process to help you make the most informed decision and help you to avoid common pitfalls. When you need effective legal advocacy, get in touch with our attorneys and put more than 80 years of combined experienced to work for you.
Request an initial consultation with our firm and get the answers you need today.