Many people undergoing a divorce have never navigated the legal system before, and this can make the divorce process confusing. You may be tempted to believe the things that you have heard from others, but many of these statements are actually misconceptions. What myths about divorce should you be aware of?
Myth 1: The only money the court will divide is in your joint account.
Many people face new financial concerns as they divorce, and dividing their savings can be a significant concern. While Pennsylvania courts will generally consider the property each spouse brought into the marriage to be the separate property of that spouse, money earned during the marriage will likely be part of their marital property. This includes money earned during their marriage but placed in their separate bank account.
Myth 2: Your property will be split 50/50.
Many people believe that the court will divide their property in half. However, Pennsylvania courts work to divide property equitably, and while a fair solution may be a 50/50 split, that is not always the case. The amount of marital property each spouse receives will depend on a variety of different factors, including each spouse’s ability to support themselves.
Myth 3: Mothers always receive custody.
Because of the expectations placed on mothers in the past, many believe that they will automatically receive custody of their child in divorce. This is not necessarily the case. In fact, Pennsylvania law states that neither parent should receive preferential treatment based on their gender. Instead, child custody decisions are based on the arrangement that will best serve the child’s needs, which may include a variety of different custody arrangements including a father having custody of their child.
Myth 4: Both parties must agree to a divorce
Some couples agree that the best course of action is to end their marriage, but not everyone can get their spouse to agree to a divorce. Thankfully, while divorces can be the result of mutual consent, those who cannot get their spouse to consent to the divorce still have other options under Pennsylvania law.
Unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions exist about divorce. That is why it is important for those considering divorce to seek experienced guidance to help them explore their options and take steps to protect what matters most to them.