Going through a divorce can be frustrating and confusing. You likely know a few people who have gone through a divorce. Their stories, combined with information you find online, can make you feel like anything can happen during a divorce.
While much of a divorce depends on the specific circumstances of the couple involved, there is also quite a bit of false information.
Here are a few of the most common myths about divorce and their truths.
Only women get…
The divorce process has changed significantly over the last few decades, but the customs continue as present-day myths. One common misconception is that women are automatically awarded custody and spousal support.
In truth, awards of spousal support and child custody depend on the circumstances of the divorcing couple. Courts look at the child’s best interest to determine custody and visitation arrangements. Spousal support will rely primarily on you and your ex’s lifestyle and income before your divorce.
If I leave, I won’t get the house
The myth is that courts will give the house to the person who remains in the house. This myth has continued because the person who moves out tends to lose interest in keeping the house once they establish another residence.
Divorce agreements are, in essence, a negotiation. Courts will typically allow you and your ex to decide how you want to divide your assets as long as there is not a significant disparity between what you and your ex receive. If you cannot agree, the courts will divide your assets equitably.
Equitably means 50/50
Often, marriage is seen as two people contributing equally to a shared life. This same challenging logic leads to the myth that in divorce, the court will divide assets equally among you and your spouse.
In Missouri, courts divide assets equitably, but that does not always mean that each spouse gets an equal share of the assets. Dividing assets equitably means a fair division based on several factors such as conduct during the marriage, the value of the nonmarital property and the contribution each spouse made to the marital property.
Negotiating a divorce can come with confusing terms and processes. Learning about how a Missouri divorce works and how courts determine how to award the assets is essential.