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Common Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law

Kim Hamilton Attorney at Law Dec. 13, 2023

Family Figures and Gavel on TableNavigating any legal issue can be a daunting task. Even more commonly understood topics like divorce and family law can be full of misconceptions—perhaps because a great deal of people encounter these legal matters. But with so many myths and subjective opinions out there, it's understandable how researching family law concepts could lead to confusion and stress during an already challenging time. That's why it's extra essential to obtain accurate information—so you can make informed decisions and bring a sense of calm to the chaos.

Unraveling Common Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law 

Understanding widely held misconceptions about divorce and family law can make all the difference. These myths, though seemingly harmless, can greatly skew your understanding of the legal process, potentially affecting the outcomes of your case. By debunking these misconceptions, you can get equipped with a clearer, more accurate perspective as you navigate your legal issue.

If the other parent doesn’t pay child support, I can withhold visitation. 

One prevalent myth is that if the other parent fails to make child support payments, visitation rights can be denied. However, the truth is that visitation and child support are two separate legal issues. While it may be frustrating when child support payments are not forthcoming, it isn't legally permissible to withhold visitation rights as a form of punishment.  

It’s possible for one of the spouses to deny the divorce. 

Another misconception is that a spouse can deny a divorce if they wish to remain in the marriage. The fact is, if one spouse desires a divorce, they can pursue it regardless of the other spouse's wishes.

Divorce is a legal process that can be initiated by one party, and the other party cannot prevent it from happening. However, the specific requirements and procedures for divorce may vary depending on your jurisdiction, so consultation with a family law attorney to understand the process in your area is important. 

If adultery is involved, the other spouse gets everything. 

Contrary to popular belief, adultery does not automatically entitle the innocent spouse to receive all marital assets in a divorce. Most jurisdictions have adopted a no-fault divorce system, which means that the reasons for the divorce, including adultery, may not significantly impact the division of assets. Instead, the division of property and other financial matters are typically determined by factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial contributions, and the needs of any children involved. 

The mother is always awarded primary custody of the children. 

There is a common misconception that mothers are always given primary custody of their children in divorce cases. The reality is that family courts prioritize the best interests of the children when determining custody arrangements. Both parents have an equal opportunity to seek custody, and the court will consider factors such as the child's relationship with each parent, the ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment, and any history of abuse or neglect. 

You have to get divorced in the state you got married in. 

Many people believe that they must get divorced in the same state where they got married. However, the state where you file for divorce is typically determined by residency requirements. As long as you meet the residency requirements of a particular state, you can file for divorce there, regardless of where you were married. 

If the property is in the name of only one of the spouses, they get to keep it. 

Another misconception is that if a property is solely in the name of one spouse, they automatically get to keep it in a divorce. However, the division of property in a divorce is not solely based on whose name is on the title. In many jurisdictions, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which means that it is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. 

Alimony is a part of any divorce. 

There is a common misconception that alimony, also known as spousal support, is automatically granted in every divorce. However, whether or not alimony is awarded depends on various factors, including the length of the marriage, the financial needs and earning capacity of each spouse, and the contributions made by each spouse during the marriage. 

How Legal Counsel Can Help 

Navigating the complexities of divorce and family law can be challenging, but you don't have to do it alone. A knowledgeable and experienced attorney like Kim Hamilton can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the process. 

Get the Answers to Your Important Questions 

Dealing with divorce and family law issues can be complex and emotionally draining. But with the right legal counsel, you can navigate these challenges with confidence. Attorney Kim Hamilton and her team are dedicated to providing you with the guidance and support you need during this crucial time in your life. If you are in Fort Worth, Texas — and throughout Texas including Johnson County and Tarrant County — don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation today. Your peace of mind is our priority.