In our society divorce is common, and yet it is a confusing time for both spouses, full of upheaval and turmoil. As a result of divorce being both a complicated and common process, a lot of false information has made its way into common belief about the divorce process and its probable results. Dispelling these myths can be an important way to help spouses deal with the divorce process with more accurate and appropriate expectations.
Myth #1: Mothers always get the children in every custody battle. In any child custody dispute, the court will make a decision for custody and a residential schedule based on the child’s best interest. The determination for best interest is based on very specific factors, and nowhere included in that list is whether a parent is the mother or father. Courts acknowledge the importance of having both parents in the child’s life, and will make the final decision accordingly.
Myth #2: Each spouse will receive his or her own retirement. Washington is a community property state. This means that any assets that are accrued during the marriage are typically (but not necessarily) subject to equal division in a divorce. This includes retirement accounts.
Myth #3: “I don’t need an attorney.” Even in the most amicable divorce, having your own attorney is crucial. Attorneys are trained to deal with the issues that come up in most divorces, and among other things, can help you spot the potential post-divorce issues that should be dealt with before the divorce is final. Making sure your divorce is done completely and properly the first time can help you head off future problems and prevent post-divorce litigation.
Myth #4: “I am entitled to spousal support because my spouse cheated on me.” Washington is a no-fault divorce state. This means that which spouse was responsible for the disintegration of the marriage—and why the marriage collapsed–will not have any bearing on spousal maintenance, nor on other issues such as child support, division of property, and a parenting plan if the spouses have minor children. Washington courts examine particular factors when ruling whether one spouse should receive spousal support, and this list does not include adultery.
Divorce can be a complex process with many moving parts. To gain clarity about this process, call us today at (253) 272-9459 for an appointment to talk about your case