Divorce Myths Debunked

Divorce is a time filled with anxiety, worry, questions and many myths. Everyone has an idea of divorce proceedings, but the truth is each divorce is different, and each situation is personal to the parties involved.

It is the myths that confuse people – which is why it is best to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer at Gearing, Rackner & McGrath to get the truth.

Below are some of the most common myths. Gearing, Rackner & McGrath are here to demystify them. 

Myth No.1:

Keeping separate bank accounts while married means your spouse is not entitled to any of your assets.

The Truth:

That entirely depends on how carefully you separate the money and what state you live in.

Myth No.2:

Your spouse cannot take the property you bought prior to the marriage.

The Truth:

Whether that happens depends on whose name is on the deed and how the property was used after the marriage.

Myth No.3:

Your spouse cannot claim an inheritance that you received.

The Truth:

That solely depends on what state you live in and where you put the inheritance.

Myth No.4:

In a custody dispute, the courts favor the mother.

The Truth:

Courts prefer joint custody agreements, in with both parents share time and responsibilities. If custody is awarded to one parent, gender should not play a role. The best interests of the child prevail.

Myth No.5:

There is no need to share parenting if an ex-spouse stops paying child support.

The Truth:

If you stop allowing the other parent time with the children and do not comply with the parenting plan you agreed to when you got divorced, your ex-spouse could take you to court. 

Myth No.6:

Only women get spousal support.

The Truth:

Alimony is based on need and income. Gender does not matter.

Myth No.7:

All assets are split 50/50.

The Truth:

Equitable asset distribution does not necessarily mean equally divided. A 50/50 split is not always fair or reasonable, and courts examine several factors before dividing marital property.

Myth No.8:

You have to go through court for a divorce.

The Truth:

All divorces must indeed be finalized through the court. However, most are settled outside of court with a negotiated settlement. You only go to court if an agreement cannot be reached.

Myth No.9:

Adultery means you lose everything.

The Truth:

Oregon is a no-fault divorce state, meaning no one is legally to blame for the marriage ending. If adultery caused financial issues or affects parenting ability, it may have a bearing on a divorce settlement.

Myth No.10:

Whoever files for divorce first wins.

The Truth:

Being in a hurry to file can actually hurt your case. It is better to be well prepared and have a strategy in place.

Myth No.11:

If one spouse does not agree to a divorce, the divorce cannot happen. 

The Truth:

You are not going to be forced to stay married. It is easier if both parties agree to a divorce, but not necessary. If all your paperwork is done, filed and served, and there is no response, you can file for default. A default would mean a divorce on your terms because there were no objections from the other spouse.

Gearing, Rackner & McGrath have over 100 years of combined experience resolving thousands of cases through direct negotiation, mediation, trial and collaborative law. Our team is ready to work together for the best possible outcome for our clients.

To schedule a consultation with one of our divorce attorneys in Oregon or SW Washington, call us now at 503.222.9116 or write us.

Andrew Newsom

Andrew Newsom

Andy is a partner at Gearing Rackner & McGrath. He has practiced family law exclusively since 2010 and is licensed to practice in Oregon. Andrew has high-level experience in all areas of family law. Although he is stimulated by trial advocacy, his first priority is to provide his clients with creative and efficient solutions without unneeded expense.

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