Divorce myths. A video of truth.

In this article, we cover the top 10 divorce myths. When it comes to Michigan divorce law, everyone has a story about a ‘friend’ who went through a divorce and (fill in the blank) happened. Further complicating matters are the countless television shows and tabloid articles regarding divorce. While gossip, television shows and tabloid articles on divorce may be entertaining, they are not reliable for sound legal advice. That is what we are for.

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Top 10 Divorce Myths

1. “No fault divorce” means fault does not matter.

The truth is fault can matter in divorce. The no-fault statute eliminated fault as a ground for divorce, however, fault can play a role in property division, alimony and in limited circumstances in child custody cases.

2. Abandonment or desertion is a crime in Michigan.

The truth is, neither is a crime in the State of Michigan. Abandonment or desertion may be relevant in determining who is at “fault” for the breakdown of a marriage, however.

3. Adultery does not matter.

Adultery is a crime in the State of Michigan, however the crime is never enforced. Adultery is the ultimate betrayal in a marriage and may also be relevant in determining who is at fault for the breakdown of a marriage.

4. If you fail to pay child support, your parenting time can be terminated.

This divorce myth is simply not true, child support payments are independent of your right to exercise parenting time.

5. A child can choose which parent they want to live with.

Simply not true. While a child’s preference is a relevant best interest of a child factor in the State of Michigan (provided the child is of suitable age and maturity), a child does not have the power to decide which parent they want to live with, parents do and when parents cannot decide a court will.

6. Mothers always get custody.

Sometimes old divorce myths never die. The truth is men are just as likely to get custody as women.

7. Property is always divided 50/50.

While an equal division of property may be appropriate in some divorce cases, there is nothing in Michigan law that requires an equal division of marital property. Rather, Michigan law provides is an equitable (fair) division of property and what is fair is not always equal.

8. A collaborative divorce is cheaper.

This divorce myth will probably get more pushback than any other (especially from attorneys that practice collaborative divorce). Collaborative divorce often employs multiple professionals (therapists, financial planners, attorneys) to help the parties “consciously uncouple”. The truth is a collaborative divorce is rarely less expensive than a traditional divorce.

While an equal division of property may be appropriate in some divorce cases, there is nothing in Michigan law that requires an equal division of marital property. Rather, Michigan law provides is an equitable (fair) division of property and what is fair is not always equal.

9. Only woman get alimony.

This divorce myth is simply not true, an award of alimony (which is the same as spousal support) is dependent upon several factors, such as the length of the marriage, income of the parties, age of the parties and education of the parties.

10. If you don’t settle, it will be war (my spouse told me).

Never rely on a spouse for legal advice. After all, you are getting divorced for a reason. When trust is broken and your personal interest are at stake, rely on your own professional to help you navigate divorce. That is why we are here.

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I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for over two decades. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances.That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

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