- Getting Legal Advice is being Disloyal to Your Spouse. “We decided we wanted to keep it amicable, and going to an attorney makes it litigious.” Absolutely false! Getting legal advice is the smartest thing anyone can do. Unless you know the law, you won’t know how to negotiate properly.
- Filing a Response to the Petition makes the divorce contentious. Absolutely false! Filing a Response to the Petition provides the Respondent with an equal voice as the Petitioner if the court’s help is needed after the divorce is final. What makes a divorce contentious is the arguing and hurtful behavior of one or both spouses, and the continuing need for the court to step in and resolve problems.
- More parenting time will be given to Mom. The fear of most men. Finally false. Since the film Kramer vs Kramer when sole custody was given to a father, and the ongoing efforts of professionals to turn the stigma around that only women are nurturing, the phrase Best Interests of the Child prevails, with the court understanding that a child needs both parents in their lives.
- “The Judge will see my side if we go to court.” Totally false. The Judges deal in laws, not emotions, and should not show unwarranted favoritism to either party. The only side to see is the legal side of an issue.
- The ruder the lawyer, the better the outcome for their client. Not so. If respect is given by one party, and not the other, the Judge will more than likely admonish the rude attorney. Rudeness creates an unsustainable toxic environment, even in court. No one wants that to continue.
- The Mediator or Document Preparation people can give legal advice and consulting. Definitely not. If a mediator or document preparation professional gives legal advice they are working outside of their capacity as a neutral. A mediator can lose the confidence of one or both parties if they step outside of their role as a neutral and appear to be siding with one party by quoting law.
- Filing a huge brief or statement at a Hearing will help you win in court. Total mistake to make. A Judge only has a few minutes to read what has been submitted for a Hearing. If anything more than two pages are submitted, a Judge does not have the time to wrap their heads around the entire saga of the situation, and can’t give their best if the issue isn’t consolidated in a short Brief.
- The first person who files has the upper hand or advantage. So not true. Someone has to start the filing. If the Respondent files a Response to the Petition, a equally weighted case moves forward with both parties on an equal footing.
- Asking for financial damages because the marriage didn’t work out. Nope. There are no damages in family law if in a No-Fault divorce state, which most states are now. There are assets and debts to distribute, and spousal support/alimony as financial aspects of the divorce, but asking for damages because the marriage didn’t work out would be difficult because the process would be to put a price tag on emotions. Not possible.
- “I’ll take everything, even full custody of the kids, if you divorce me.” Fear talking. Anyone who makes that statement has not consulted an attorney to understand the laws in their state, and are making statements to emotionally bully their soon-to-be former spouse. No one takes everything from the other spouse because their are laws to prevent that, and with the court’s disposition with custody and parenting to include both parents (if no parent would prove an endangerment to the children) both parents will see their children to some extent.
There can be no myths that upset you if you get legal advice and work in the reality of the law.
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