Many people labor under popular misconceptions about divorce. These myths and urban legends only serve to make the process more complicated for people, and some people give up important rights that they do not know they have.
Some of the more common myths we have heard include:
- If you bought an asset, it’s your separate property to leave the marriage with. This is wrong. If you obtained the asset while married, it is probably marital, regardless of whose wages were used or whose name is on the title or deed. Property is separate only if you obtained it while single or if it was a gift (from someone other than your spouse) or an inheritance left only to you.
- Only women can get alimony. This might have been true a long time ago. But today either spouse can request alimony. However, a judge will only award alimony if the facts warrant it.
- Marital property is divided 50/50. Actually, a judge divides marital property “equitably,” which means in a manner the judge deems is fair. Judges are guided by many factors, and a 50/50 split might be fair in most situations. But there is no requirement that assets be divided evenly.
- Mothers always get full custody of young children. For one thing, “full custody” rarely exists in Ohio. Typically, both parents get time with their child. For another, there is no presumption that children should be with the mother. Instead, judges decide custody based on the best interests of the child.
The above are only some of the more common misconceptions. If you have questions, schedule a consultation with our Southside Ohio divorce lawyer.
The Benefits of an Attorney
There is a lot at stake with a divorce. And, unfortunately, you only get one chance to make a good impression. The reality is that once a judge decides custody, alimony, or any other issue, it is very difficult to get it set aside later. Unless the judge made a major error, an appeal is fruitless. After divorce, modifying a custody or support agreement is also tough, and courts will only consider the issue when there has been a sufficiently meaningful change of circumstances.
With so much at issue, men and women should have an attorney represent them. A lawyer can discuss what you want, help you negotiate an agreement, and represent you in court if negotiations falter.