With so much information out there about divorce, it can be hard to make sense of what is wrong or right. Understandably, it can be a period filled with uncertainty, especially if it is your first time.
Therefore, learning more about how things work will help avoid nasty surprises in your divorce. With that in mind, here are some of the widespread myths you may encounter:
1. The mother automatically gets custody of the children.
Mothers may be primary caregivers, but the gender of the parents has nothing to do with custody decisions. Everything rests on the children’s best interests. As such, both parents have equal rights regarding the custody of their children.
2. Everyone ends up with an equal share of the marital property.
Contrary to popular belief, assets acquired during the marriage are not divided 50/50 in Illinois. The state follows an equitable division of marital assets where fairness takes precedence. The court will consider each spouse’s current condition and future needs before deciding who gets what in a divorce. You may end up with slightly more or less than your spouse.
3. You must divorce in the state where you married.
This is yet another false narrative. Life changes, and you may have moved away from the state where you tied the knot. In such a case, you can file for divorce in the state you reside in as long as you meet residency requirements that vary across jurisdictions. In Illinois, for instance, one of the spouses must have lived in the state for at least 90 days before filing for divorce.
4. Divorce is always messy.
Feuds and acrimony characterize some divorce proceedings, but it does not have to be that way. It is possible for you and your spouse to settle your divorce amicably by agreeing on key issues such as child custody, support, alimony and property division. If anything, an uncontested divorce offers a cheaper and faster alternative to facing off in court.
Ultimately, it is advisable to take everything you hear with a pinch of salt to avoid disappointments or blunders in your divorce. If you are unsure or have concerns regarding your divorce, seek help and get informed clarification instead of flying blind.