Common Misconceptions About Divorce
Debunking Common Misconceptions About Divorce
Divorce, a word that evokes a myriad of emotions and thoughts, is often misunderstood. Despite its prevalence in today's society, there are several misconceptions surrounding this topic that can lead to unnecessary stress and confusion for those involved. Below, we seek to debunk some of these misconceptions and provide clarity on the realities of divorce.
Misconception: Getting Divorced Means Failure
One of the most common misconceptions about divorce is the notion that it represents failure. This misconception likely stems from societal expectations of a successful marriage - one that lasts “till death do us part.” However, viewing divorce as a failure oversimplifies the complexity of human relationships and overlooks the fact that people change over time.
In reality, divorce can often be an act of courage and self-empowerment. It can represent the strength to walk away from an unhealthy or unfulfilling relationship, the wisdom to acknowledge irreconcilable differences, and the resilience to start anew.
Misconception: You Are Entitled to At Least 50% of Your Assets
Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital assets are not divided 50/50. Instead, the court considers various factors—such as the contributions of each spouse to the marriage, each party’s economic circumstances, the needs of each party, and the length of the marriage—to determine how to justly and fairly divide and allocate assets. A just and fair division to the court does not mean equal, nor does it often line up with what mean seem just and fair to you.
Misconception: A Long-Term Marriage Guarantees Permanent Alimony
In the summer of 2023, Governor DeSantis signed a bill that eliminated permanent alimony and changed the state’s alimony laws. This new alimony law went into effect in July 2023.
Previously, in some cases involving long-term or moderate-length marriages, the court may award one party permanent alimony, which meant the recipient would receive payments for the entirety of the other party’s life. Now, permanent alimony is not an option, and you can only be awarded bridge-the-gap alimony, rehabilitative alimony, or durational alimony.
Misconception: You Don’t Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce
While it's true that uncontested divorces are typically more straightforward, navigating the legal system can still be complex and daunting. An attorney can help ensure that your rights are protected, that you understand all the terms of your divorce agreement, and that you avoid costly mistakes. Even in an amicable divorce, having an attorney by your side can provide invaluable peace of mind.
Misconception: Mothers Always Get Custody
Another prevalent misconception is that mothers always get custody of their children in a divorce. While this might have been more accurate in the past, modern courts strive to prioritize the best interests of the child, which may involve joint custody or even full custody awarded to the father.
Misconception: Divorce Ruins Children
While it's undeniable that divorce can be challenging for children, research suggests that it's not the divorce itself but the conflict associated with it that affects children negatively. In many cases, children can adjust well if their parents handle the situation appropriately, providing stability, love, and open communication.
Questions About Florida Divorces? Consult Our Attorney.
At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, our attorney is backed by nearly forty years of legal experience. If you are considering divorce and have questions about getting divorced in Florida, we are here and prepared to help. From answering your initial questions to helping you navigate the divorce process and offering personalized counsel, you can trust our team with your divorce case.
To schedule an initial consultation, contact our team online or via phone at (727) 312-1112.