There's a lot of information out there about divorce – how to do it, when to do it, even why you should do it. However, until you've made the decision to go through this process yourself, it's difficult to know what's true from what's not. Below, we debunk five of the most common myths about divorce. Read on to learn more.
- Most divorces go to trial. Assuming you and your spouse can amicably reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce, you'll never have to see the inside of a courtroom. Trials are reserved for contested cases involving heated disputes. For many couples, mediation is more than enough to settle the case and court is never needed.
- Your spouse must agree to the divorce. The courts can't force someone to stay married against their will, even if the other party hasn't consented to the divorce. While mutual consent and agreement can certainly help expedite the process, not having them won't prevent the divorce from eventually being finalized.
- You have to divorce in the state you were married in. It's unrealistic to expect all couples to remain in – or return to – the state where they were married simply to complete their divorce. In reality, you can divorce anywhere, so long as you meet the state's residency requirements.
- The mother always gets custody of the children. Gone are the days when mothers automatically assumed custody of the children after a divorce. Now, this decision is made based on a number of factors, all of which prioritize the child's best interests. As often as possible, the court will rule in favor of divided time between both parents, so long as it is believed to be what's best for the child.
- Your assets and property will be divided evenly. South Carolina is an equitable distribution state, which, contrary to popular belief, is not the same as equal distribution. States that enforce equitable distribution apportion property based on fairness, which does not always equate to an even, 50/50 split. When determining who gets what, the judge will look at factors such as: duration of the marriage, contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, each spouse's earning capacity, etc.
If you're currently considering divorce and you're looking for answers to your questions, we can help. Contact a Columbia family law attorney at our office to learn more.