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Common Myths About Divorce and Family Law

Sad woman looking at her wedding ring with her husband behind herAlthough divorce is never the intended outcome, the unfortunate reality is that many marriages in the Golden State end in separation and/or divorce. Statistics from a recent American Community Survey indicate that roughly 104,000 women and 90,000 men filed for divorce in California in 2019 alone. Divorce remains one of the most stressful life events any person can go through. Making decisions when experiencing such emotional turmoil can be extremely difficult. So many individuals end up making costly mistakes when attempting to navigate the process of divorce without adequate legal representation and guidance.

At Equal Justice Law Group, Inc., our experienced family law attorneys have spent years assisting individuals and families through the complexities of divorce proceedings. Our legal team is committed to answering all of your questions about the divorce process and will explore all legal options available to you.

As your legal counsel, we will fight diligently to protect your rights and work to resolve any divorce issues as peacefully and productively as possible. Our firm is proud to serve clients across Sacramento, Jackson, El Dorado Hills, and Placerville, California — so call or reach out today to schedule a consultation.

Common Myths About
Divorce in California

Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and false assumptions that get passed around when couples are considering divorce. Here at Equal Justice Law Group, Inc., we believe in educating our clients about the entire process of divorce and marital dissolution so that they can have a better understanding of what to expect during and after the divorce.

That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the most common myths and misconceptions that can hopefully help you learn more about the California divorce process so you can make more informed decisions. Some of the most common myths about divorce and family law in the Golden State include the following:

Misconception #1: If the other parent doesn't
pay child support, I can withhold visitation.

This is a common misconception that can often make matters worse. In a typical divorce situation, child support is different from visitation schedules or parenting time. Even when the non-custodial parent is delinquent on child support obligations, it is illegal for the custodial parent to withhold visitation.

Misconception #2: It's possible for
one of the spouses to deny the divorce.

The fact is that California is a no-fault state. This means that the spouse seeking a divorce doesn't have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong that led to a marital breakdown. Likewise, you do not need your spouse's signature or approval to get a divorce. Even if your spouse fails to respond to the divorce petition, you can file a request for default after 30 days.

Misconception #3: If adultery was involved,
the non-cheating spouse gets everything.

As mentioned earlier, California is a no-fault state. The court will not consider evidence of infidelity when deciding whether to grant the divorce. However, the court may evaluate whether the unfaithful spouse intentionally used shared financial resources and assets to fund trips, vacations, or buy expensive gifts during the affair. If they have, this information can be used to influence decisions such as alimony or asset division.

Misconception #4: The mother is always
awarded primary custody of the children.

Trends in child custody awards over the years show that the mother is often awarded primary custody of the child, however, these trends do appear to be shifting. In California divorce proceedings, the court presumes that it is in the child's best interest to have regular and continuing contact with both parents following the divorce — and will always strive for both parents to assume an equal role in custody whenever possible.

Misconception #5: You have to get
divorced in the state you got married in.

This is another common misconception about divorce. It is not necessary that you get divorced in the state you got married in. Before you can file for divorce in California, you or your spouse must have been living in the state for at least six months or 180 days prior to filing.

Misconception #6: If the property is in the name of
only one spouse, that spouse gets to keep it.

In a California divorce, assets are divided into separate property and community property. Separate property is defined as any asset owned alone by one spouse before the marriage or acquired as personal gifts or inheritance during the marriage.

In contrast, any income, personal property, and debts acquired by either spouse during a marriage are considered community property. Under California's community property laws, assets, property, debts, and liabilities acquired by the spouses during the marriage belong equally to both of them and must be divided equally in the divorce.

Let Equal Justice Law Group, Inc. Answer Your Questions Today!

Filing for divorce in California can involve a lot of legal complexities. Negotiating a divorce settlement, dividing marital assets, establishing alimony, child support, child custody, or agreeing on a parenting plan with your ex-spouse can all make the whole process even more stressful. If you’re considering a divorce in the Golden State, it is imperative that you work with an experienced family law attorney for detailed guidance as you make these important decisions.

At Equal Justice Law Group, Inc., we are committed to offering knowledgeable legal guidance and advocacy to clients in family law and divorce-related matters. As your legal counsel, we will review your unique circumstances and help you determine the best course of action so that you can move forward. Our attorneys will work meticulously with all parties involved to negotiate a fair divorce settlement and settle any pending disputes as amicably and efficiently as possible. Through it all, we will fight compassionately to protect your rights and your family's best interests in an effort to help you make as smooth a transition as possible.

So if you or someone you know is considering a divorce, contact Equal Justice Law Group, Inc. today to schedule a consultation with our experienced divorce attorneys. We will offer you the comprehensive legal counsel and reliable advocacy you deserve from start to finish. Our firm is proud to serve clients throughout Sacramento, Jackson, El Dorado Hills, and Placerville, California, so call or reach out to our office today to schedule a free case evaluation!