family law, Legal

Common Myths about Divorce: Legal Reasons #57

No Fault

If one spouse has an affair, the other gets everything, right? You lose the house, the car, the kids, all of it, isn’t that how it goes? That’s great and dramatic for movies and TV, but that’s not the way things work in the real world. It might end your marriage, but infidelity doesn’t always influence the divorce settlement.

California is a no-fault divorce state, which means there’s no blame assigned for a failed marriage. Unless adultery negatively impacts your finances, it probably won’t impact the division of property. One example i if your spouse drained your savings buying expensive gifts. The same goes for child custody. If an affair impairs parenting ability, it may play a role. Otherwise, this is one of the most common divorce myths many people accept as fact.

Custody

That mothers always get custody of the children in divorce was taken as a given for years. Many husbands and fathers feel like they’re at a disadvantage right out of the gate. Though there may have been a bias along the way, times they are a changing. More than automatically going with a mother over a father, the court puts the child’s best interests ahead of all other concerns.

Increasingly, the courts recognize the importance of both parents remaining in a child’s life following divorce. From a legal perspective, mothers and fathers have the same rights when it comes to child custody. Each has identical claims. And in an ideal situation—we recognize not every case will be perfect—the parent who represents the best choice, regardless of whether it’s the mother or father, will walk away with custody.

 

 

COMMUNITY PROPERTY

California is a community property state. This means the court views all assets and debts acquired during a marriage as belonging equally to both spouses. The law presumes joint ownership. Many people think this means everything gets shared equally during the division of property. Common divorce myths like this, however, are not the case in most situations.

Many factors go into the division of property. The court’s general goal is for each spouse to emerge from divorce on relatively even footing and to maintain a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage. The length of a marriage, resources, health, and numerous other elements play into the ultimate divorce settlement.

 

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