Common Misconceptions About Divorce

Because divorce is now so common, we all know someone who has gone through the process. Unfortunately, seeking advice from family and friends sometimes leads to misinformation.

Here are some common misconceptions about divorce that you may have already heard:

Myth: My spouse and I already worked out the details, so our divorce won't take more than a few weeks.

The truth: In California, your divorce cannot be finalized until at least six months after the date that you file. Depending on the details of your case, it may take longer than that.

A longer divorce process isn't necessarily a bad thing. While you don't want to spend too much time and money arguing over small details, it is important to give each decision the care and thought it deserves. The outcome of your divorce will impact your family and finances for years to come. Therefore, you should take the time to get things right.

Myth: I need to file for divorce before my spouse does. Otherwise, I'll be at a disadvantage.

The truth: The spouse who first files for the divorce is referred to as the petitioner, while the other spouse is the respondent. There is no inherent advantage in being the petitioner, nor is there an inherent disadvantage in being the respondent. Petitioners often have a slight head start on working out details related to the divorce, but this may not prove to be very important in the end.

Myth: My spouse cheated on me, so I am entitled to a larger property settlement or full custody of the children.

The truth: While one spouse may be to blame for the marriage coming to an end, California is a no-fault divorce state. Generally speaking, this means that it is unnecessary to prove fault when filing for divorce. It also means that judges generally will not consider factors such as infidelity when making decisions related to property division or child custody (even if they personally disapprove of your spouse's alleged conduct).

Myth: I can't move out of the marital residence before the divorce is finalized or it will be granted to my spouse in the divorce.

The truth: Your shared home is one of the many pieces of marital property that need to be divided in the divorce. If one spouse successfully negotiates to keep the house, the other spouse must generally be given assets of equal value. And negotiations for the house will not be significantly impacted by whether one spouse has moved out already.

Get The Facts From A Family Law Attorney

Lawyer Sina Mohajer has the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through what can be a difficult and uncertain process. In order to better understand your rights and legal options, call our Arcadia firm at 626-999-3785, or fill out this online contact form and take advantage of a free consultation.