Most people understand the basic concept of divorce as a legal dissolution of a marriage. There is certainly no shortage of news about high-profile divorces and their vivid details. But the average person, in Michigan as elsewhere, may still harbor certain misconceptions about the divorce process. If you’re contemplating the end of your marriage, it’s important to address these misconceptions to that you can navigate the divorce process with a true understanding of your rights and obligations.
Here are some common myths about divorce, along with actual realities that dispel them:
- Divorce is always contentious — While some divorces can be adversarial, most divorces are no-fault and couples usually can resolve their differences through negotiation.
- Mothers always get custody — Michigan law prioritizes the best interests of the child when determining custody. The court considers the ability of each parent to provide a stable and nurturing environment.
- Divorce can be denied without the other spouse’s consent — If either spouse is determined to end the marriage, they can typically proceed to dissolution even if the other spouse disagrees.
- All marital property is split 50/50 — In Michigan, marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Courts consider such factors as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s contributions and the financial situation of both parties.
- Divorce is a lengthy process — Uncontested divorces, where both parties agree on all key issues, are completed relatively quickly. The duration of a contested divorce is influenced by the complexity of the case and the court’s caseload.
- You have to go to court — While some divorces involve court proceedings, most couples can settle their divorce through negotiation outside of court.
- Spousal support (alimony) is always awarded — These awards are typically based on such factors as the financial needs of the receiving party, the paying party’s ability and other circumstances of the marriage.
- Marital fault means loss of financial rights — In fact, a spouse’s adultery or other bad conduct will not affect entitlement to support or to a share of the marital property except to the extent that it demonstrably impacted the couple’s finances.
- Divorce can lead to financial ruin — The financial outcome of a divorce depends on various factors, including the assets, debts, and financial arrangements within the marriage, as well as the decisions made during the divorce process.
- Divorce will solve all your problems — Divorce may alleviate certain problems, such as a troubled marriage, but it can also bring new challenges, like financial adjustments and co-parenting responsibilities. This makes it essential to plan for the post-divorce scenario.
An experienced Michigan divorce attorney can guide you through the divorce process and can work to achieve the best possible outcome in your behalf.
Dawson Family Law, PLLC in Sterling Heights represents Michigan clients in divorce proceedings and related matters, such as custody and child support cases. For a free consultation regarding your situation, please call 833-671-4445 or contact us online.