We at the office of Robert G. Spaugh, Attorney at Law have experience in many different legal areas, but our primary area of practice is divorce law. Over the years, we have assisted countless couples legally separate and end their marriages, as well as make the necessary arrangements for alimony, child support, and child custody. In that time, we have also encountered many people with mistaken ideas about divorce law, so we have put together this article to correct a few of the most common myths about the subject.
- Myth: Only women get alimony. This myth about divorce law has some basis in historical reality, as in the past, most women didn’t work outside the home at all, and those who did almost universally received lower salaries than their husbands. Today, however, this assumption is no longer valid—especially because many marriages now consist of two men or two women. In your divorce proceedings, the court will look at both parties’ financials and living situations to determine who, if anyone, is entitled to spousal support. If a man doesn’t receive alimony, it will be because the courts have determined he doesn’t need it, not because of his gender.
- Myth: The mother always gets child custody. When deciding child custody arrangements, the court will assess each parent’s situation to determine what is in the best interests of the child. If the father can provide a better quality of life for their children than the mother, the father will likely get custody. In addition, joint custody arrangements are very common, and the details will be spelled out in detail in the parenting plan.
- Myth: The divorce has to be someone’s fault. In the past, in order to get divorced, you had to be able to prove that one partner had done something wrong or was at fault for the separation. Today, however, no-fault divorce is legal in all 50 states, which means no one has to say why they want to separate—just agreeing to the divorce is enough.