Divorce Lawyer: Common Divorce Myths
Divorce Lawyer: are you about to go through a divorce? Read on to learn more about the most common divorce myths.
Maryland currently has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country, clocking in at about 2.4 divorces per 1,000 marriages. However, that doesn’t mean that couples aren’t getting divorced in Maryland on a regular basis.
It does mean that fewer couples personally know recent divorcees. As a result, common divorce myths abound without the proper checks and balances from people who know the truth.
If you’re considering or filing for divorce, it’s time to turn to a divorce lawyer to learn about Maryland divorce law and dispel these popular myths.
Read on for the divorce lawyer guide to the truth behind common divorce myths.
Myth 1: You Must Divorce in the State Where You Married
People often assume that in order to file for divorce, they have to return to the state where they were legally wed. This is not the case, in large part to account for the fact that many couples will move at least once for work and other reasons.
What criteria do you have to meet to file for divorce in Maryland if you were married in another state? You must establish residency by living in the state with your spouse for a minimum of six months.
Myth 2: You Can Only Divorce if One or Both Spouses are At Fault
For the majority of our nation’s history, you could only file for divorce if your spouse was considered at fault. To this day, at-fault divorces are filed on grounds of adultery, desertion, cruelty, certain criminal convictions, insanity, or anything that the court deems “excessive cruelty.” Fortunately, you don’t have to prove that your spouse is at fault to file for divorce, but Maryland isn’t considered a no-fault state.
What that means is that in the state of Maryland, you can file for a no-fault divorce or an at-fault divorce. In order to file for a no-fault divorce, you must live separately from your spouse for a minimum of one year.
Note that before you hit that one-year mark, you can file for something called a limited divorce. This can allow you to get an early start on the divorce proceedings and secure support in the meantime.
Myth 3: Mothers Always Get Custody
One of the most prevailing myths about divorce is that mothers always get custody over fathers. Like many myths, this is based in some truth. Mothers do tend to get more custody than fathers, assuming that custody is split, and are more likely to get full custody.
In the state of Maryland, divorced or single fathers get an average of 26.1% of custody time. However, this number indicates that fathers can get some custody time and in some cases, will receive full custody.
Custody is granted based on a variety of factors, including which parent is capable of providing a more stable life for the child. Working with a divorce lawyer is crucial when it comes to custody because an experienced divorce and child custody lawyer will help you demonstrate your aptitude to raise your child well.
Myth 4: Most Divorces Go to Court
Thanks to courtroom dramas and reality TV shows, many people often assume that their divorce will go to trial in a courtroom. The reality is that most divorce cases are settled outside of court through the mediation process.
What does cause a divorce to go to court? More often than not, divorce cases are tried in front of a judge because the two parties cannot reach an agreement. Disputes over property, assets, and custody can lead to a trial in which the judge will make the ultimate decision.
Myth 5: You Don’t Need a Divorce Lawyer if Both Spouses Want a Divorce
Many couples assume that when they are mutually filing a no-fault divorce, they won’t need legal representation. The assumption is that because both parties agree to the divorce, they will have no trouble reaching a divorce settlement.
The truth is that you should always hire a divorce lawyer when filing for divorce. The settlement process is emotional and both spouses will operate on subjective opinions about what they deserve. Lawyers can assist in the mediation process to better secure an equitable distribution of assets and more.
Myth 6: The Offending Spouse Will Lose Everything in an At-Fault Divorce
What if you are facing an at-fault divorce because you have, for example, committed adultery? Are you going to lose everything to your spouse because the divorce is legally your fault? The simple answer is no.
Division of property in the state of Maryland comes down to a variety of factors that are meant to ensure equity, somewhat regardless of fault. Your earning power will determine the split of assets, and the court will also look at the assets that each spouse brought into the marriage.
That doesn’t mean that fault won’t impact the division of property, at all. One common example is the squandering of assets. If you squandered marital assets in order to fund an affair, this will impact how much of your marital assets you receive in the settlement.
Work With a Maryland Divorce Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
If you’re considering or filing for a divorce, the first thing to do is make sure you understand the difference between common divorce myths and reality. The second thing to do is hire a divorce lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected, even if the divorce is mutual.
If you’re looking for the best divorce lawyer in Towson, MD, look no further. Our marital property disputes law firm has served countless individuals who are in the process of filing for divorce, establishing child custody, securing spousal support, and more.
To find out more about how we can help, call or contact us online today.