15 MYTHS ABOUT DIVORCE

Common divorce myths say 50 percent of all marriages fail, second marriages are more successful, Mom gets custody of the kids, men initiate most divorces, living together lowers divorce rates, all wives get alimony, America has the world’s highest divorce rate, you have to file for divorce where you married, your spouse can prevent the divorce, shared custody means no child support, older children can choose where they live, the wedding ring is community property, divorce is always ugly, men are better off financially after a divorce, and your spouse can never get your separate property.

Most Marriages End in Divorce.

Because 50 percent of American marriages end in divorce doesn’t mean your marriage has a 50/50 change of failing, because divorced people marry and divorce multiple times.

Second Marriages Are More Successful.

You might think you would learn from a failed marriage and have a better chance next time.  However, over 70 percent of second marriages end in divorce.

Moms Get Custody of Kids.

First of all, Florida does not recognize the concept of “custody.”  In Florida, there is parental responsibility (decision-making) which is usually shared and timesharing, which is the schedule of when children will spend time with each parent.   It may seem  reasonable to some that Mom should get more timesharing or more control over decisions about the children because she’s generally the caretaker—at least in a household that uses traditional gender role parenting.  Many now do not and so this concept is very outdated.  Additionally, parents have agreements, both implicit and explicit about their roles and responsibilities during a marriage.  When the marriage is ending both parents have an equal right to exercise full parental responsibility and nearly equal timesharing, whether or not they were the primary caregiver during the marriage.  Moreover, if one parent has abused, abandoned or neglected the children, the other parent will have primary responsibility and the majority of the timesharing.

Men Initiate Most Divorces.

In America, over 75 percent of divorces are initiated by women, even though they will be financially worse off after the divorce.

Living Together Lowers Divorce Rates.

Most people believe that living together before marriage will help you avoid divorce, but if you move in for financial reasons, that’s not true.  Better to live together after careful thought to avoid divorce.

All Wives Get Alimony.

A generation ago, most wives received alimony and child support after a divorce.  Now, only if a wife was dependent on her husband before the divorce can she can expect to receive alimony.

America Has the World’s Highest Divorce Rate.

The U.S. does have a high divorce rate, but there are five other countries with higher divorce rates.  Brazil and Italy have the lowest divorce rates, but not necessarily the happiest marriages.

You Must File for Divorce Where You Married.

Usually there are residency requirements involved, and you must file for divorce where you have lived for the last several months.

Your Spouse Can Prevent the Divorce.

No-fault divorce means if you want a divorce, you can get one.  There is no requirement that one spouse be at fault and neither spouse can prevent the divorce.  Additionally, bad behavior, unless it involves financial waste of marital assets on a non-marital pursuit (i.e. paying for flights and hotels with a paramour) does not affect the division of assets of the amount of spousal support.

Shared Custody Means no Child Support.

Child support is generally based on the number of children involved, where the children live, and the relative incomes of the spouses.  When custody is shared, courts still consider the incomes of both spouses in setting child support.

Older Children Can Choose Where to Live.

In Florida, there is no age at which children may express their preference to the court.  The court may grant a motion for an older child to testify, but this is rare and limited.  Moreover, even if the child is permitted to express his or her opinion, that is only one of several factors that a court will consider when determining child custody.  There is no age at which it is not psychologically harmful to put a child in the position of taking sides. 

Wedding Rings are Marital Property.

Jewelry is generally considered a gift from one spouse to the other, and wedding rings are no different.  The wife owns the wedding and engagement rings as her separate property.

Divorces are Always Ugly.

When you opt to litigate your divorce, it will generally be ugly.  However, if you choose a collaborative divorce, you can get through the process with minimal damage to your family, avoid putting the children in the middle, and often save money.

Men Are Better off Financially after Divorce. (this one is partially true)

This depends on whether you are talking about household income or net worth.  Men often have a higher income a few years after their divorce,  and sometimes their net worth is almost always lower than it was before the divorce because the marital estate was divided. However, men almost universally fare better than women in the long run due to wage inequality, stay at homes inability to ever make up for the lost time and lower social security income for women who may have opted out of the workforce for some time.

Your Spouse Never Gets Your Separate Property.

Generally separate property can’t be divided in a divorce.  However, if you commingle assets, and can’t show which funds are still your separate property, the funds will become marital assets and get divided at divorce.

There are many myths about divorce–don’t be misled by these false beliefs.  Most marriages don’t end in divorce, second marriages are less successful, Mom doesn’t always get the kids, women initiate most divorces, living together doesn’t avoid divorce,  wives don’t always get alimony, five other countries have higher divorce rates that America, you must file for divorce where you live, Florida is a no-fault divorce state, shared custody may involve child support, older children can’t control where they live, the wedding ring belongs to the wife, divorce are not always ugly, and men are not always better off financially after a divorce.

For more information about any of these topics, please reach out to me at pam@masterscdc.com or 386-271-8044 for a personal chat.

Contact The Collaborative Divorce Center:

Call us at (386) 271‑8044, email us at pam@masterscdc.com, or fill out the form below and we will be in touch.

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