The thought of going through a divorce can be frightening and intimidating for someone who has no idea what to expect. Under these conditions, it’s easy to become misinformed by well-meaning friends and online resources about what will happen during the case. A good way to begin preparing for your divorce is by separating fact from fiction. Here are 5 myths people frequently believe about divorce:
- All Divorces Go to Trial
One common misconception is that being involved in a divorce automatically means you and your former spouse are headed for a hostile courtroom battle. In reality, most divorce cases are settled outside of the courtroom. Parties and their attorneys find this resolution far preferable to leaving critical decisions about their property, debt, and lives up to the factfinder. However, in order to reach a settlement which is in your best interest, you will require the expert advice and representation of an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate the complex negotiations which must take place before reaching an agreement.
- One Parent Will Never Get to See Their Kids Again After Divorce
Another false belief is that divorce operates to give one parent the majority of time with their children leaving the other parent alienated from them. While it is true that divorcing parents will have to make difficult decisions about custody, Florida law does not favor agreements or decisions which puts extreme and unreasonable limits on a parent’s access to their children. Instead, the law supports a time-sharing schedule which allows the child to have frequent and continuing contact with both of their parents. Absent dangerous circumstances such as a physical or emotional threat to the child, both parents will have meaningful and reasonable amounts of time with their children according to a structured time-sharing plan.
- I Will Lose Everything in the Divorce
Many people believe that when their spouse files for divorce, they are going to take the majority of the marital assets. While divorce may by costly, Florida law does not automatically permit one spouse to walk away with all of the couple’s marital assets. In fact, the court will examine several factors to make an equitable distribution of a divorcing couple's marital property. This process is aimed at dividing the marital assets and debt fairly between the parties.
- Mothers Always Get Majority Time-Sharing
Another myth is that the law and court will always award custody of minor children to the mother over the father. While mothers certainly can become the parent with the majority of time and decision-making authority, the same can be said of fathers. Florida law actually states that “[t]here is no presumption for or against the father or mother of the child or for or against any specific time-sharing schedule when creating or modifying the parenting plan of the child.” The court is going to look at both parents and their bond with their child and any concerning or supporting facts about the relationship in determining if a parenting plan is in the best interest of a child. This evaluation involves several factors which apply equally to mothers and fathers.
- Everything Will be Split 50/50
In a Florida divorce, the court is going to have to examine a couple’s marital property for equitable distribution. What this means is that the property will need to allocated equitably and fairly between the two parties. While equitable distribution may mean dividing everything roughly equally, the court will consider multiple aspects in deciding how everything should be allocated.
Divorce can be a daunting process especially if you are unfamiliar with its requirements and rules. At the Draper Firm, we have knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys who can provide insight and offer advice on how to proceed with your case. To learn more, contact the Draper Law Office today at (866) 767-4711 or online to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation in one of our Central Florida offices.