Divorce: Things May Be Different Than You Think
There are all kinds of misconceptions about divorce these days, making it difficult to know if what you think is about to happen is what will actually occur when you file for divorce. While every scenario is different, there are some basics that you really should understand as you move forward with your plans.
Say Good-bye to Preconceived Notions
What happened on television or with your neighbor may be completely different from what will be required in your situation. That’s why it’s always a good idea to get the low down from an experienced, local attorney who is knowledgeable about your particular circumstances. In general, though, these are some of the main misconceptions that leave people confused and angry when reality doesn’t match up with their expectations:
- In any custody dispute, women will always receive preferential treatment: False! In our modern age there is too much research espousing the benefits to children when they are participating in healthy, reliable relationships with both parents. That means the court is generally looking for shared physical and legal custody whenever possible, and generous visitation for non-custodial parents when it is not. All decisions are made with the best interests of the children, and the gender of the parents is not a factor.
- Since my spouse was a horrible partner, it’s clear they were also a miserable parent, which will impact their position in a custody battle: Not necessarily! There are plenty of people who are lousy as a spouse, but who are attentive, adoring parents. Obviously, things didn’t go well for you as a couple, but that in no way means it is an issue when it comes to custody decisions, as long as the well-being of the kids is not in jeopardy.
- I purchased certain things—like my car, for example, in my own name, so I get to keep it: Well, that depends on whether it was purchased prior to the marriage or afterward, with marital funds or with your own funds from, say, an inheritance. Everything purchased with marital funds during the course of the marriage is part of an equitable property division plan in a Maryland divorce, so, while you may be keeping the car, you will most likely be giving up something of equal value in the trade.
- I will get alimony forever because my spouse committed adultery: Not so fast! 1- Adultery is one consideration in alimony awards when it is a proven grounds for divorce; 2- Indefinite alimony is infrequently awarded, and is based on things like your inability to every provide for yourself due to age or health issues, or the disparate living standards you and your ex could afford.
These are just a few of the many ways in which preconceived notions clash with reality in a Maryland divorce. If you have additional questions, the aggressive, knowledgeable Baltimore divorce attorneys at the Law Office of Hasson D. Barnes can help. Schedule a confidential consultation today.