5 myths about divorce exposed

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Divorce is expensive

Not true. Fighting and litigation are expensive. Filing paperwork and getting the divorce finalized are not expensive. As long as you and your spouse are able to resolve situations on your own, costs can be manageable. For example, if you and your spouse can decide on a parenting plan/timesharing schedule for your children on your own or through the use of a mediator, you can keep your costs down. If attorneys have to bring that matter before a judge for a decision, you could see a bill for anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 for that one issue. The more issues that have to go before a judge for a decision, the more expensive the divorce becomes. Consider using a mediator to help you resolve matters and find attorneys who can help settle matters between the spouses instead of in front of a judge.

 

There is no such thing as a friendly divorce.

Not true! A friendly divorce in current times could mean an uncontested divorce or a collaborative divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce that is filed where the spouses agree on everything. Many times in an uncontested divorce, the parties use lawyers to help them draft and word their marital settlement agreement. A collaborative divorce is where the spouses decide to go through the divorce process in a friendly manner. The spouses work with their attorneys, a financial person (usually a CPA), and a counselor to resolve all issues in a series of meetings before filing of the case. Both uncontested and collaborative divorces are friendly, keep costs down, and allow spouses to move forward quickly and amicably with their own, now separate lives.

 

My spouse cheated. This will be a slam dunk for my divorce case.

Usually not. Courts view divorce as the dissolution of an economic unit, and in many states, bad conduct during the marriage, such as cheating, is not used to calculate the equitable distribution of your assets and debts. Florida is a no-fault state. If the other spouse is not contesting (or fighting) the divorce, the court will not consider the issue at all. In Florida, judges may consider adultery when determining the amount of alimony, but judges are not required to consider adultery. Some spouses may be tempted to use adultery as proof of bad behavior from the other spouse, but most lawyers advise against it because in the end it may not do much good.

 

I get half of everything in equitable distribution.

Not exactly. Equitable Distribution is the term that the Court uses to split up your assets and your liabilities. While there is this idea that everything should be split 50/50, that is not always the case. Many factors play into exactly how everything gets split up. The financial situation of each spouse will play a factor. The careers and work history of each spouse will also play a factor. You should consider meeting with a lawyer to understand how your situation and the factors may affect what you receive in the divorce.

 

I have to get divorced in the state where I got married.

No. Most states require you to be a resident in order to get divorced. That means that the state of Nevada cannot grant you a divorce for your quickie marriage in Las Vegas. In the state of Florida, you must be a resident for at least six (6) months prior to the date of filing for divorce in order to be divorced in Florida. Check the laws of your state for any residency requirements for getting divorced.

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