Common Divorce Myths

Divorce Myth No. 1:  Spouses need to attend counseling prior to filing for a divorce. 


This myth is untrue.  Convenant marriages have their own requirements for a divorce, however, if you did not elect for a convenant marriage (which are most spouses), then any spouse can immediately file for a divorce without the prerequisite of attending family or marital counseling.  As long as I have been practicing law, this has never been a requirement. 

Divorce Myth No. 2:  It doesn’t matter where I file for a divorce, it all takes the same amount of time.  

This is myth is also untrue.  If and when you decide to file your case, each lawyer manages their cases differently, and this will impact as to how long your case will take.  It is important to ask your attorney about this important issue as the time of the case will largely impact the cost of attorney's fees.

Divorce Myth No. 3:  To get a no-fault divorce, me and my spouse must live in separate houses for at least two years.  

Untrue.  The two year separation period is a requirement in other States and being separated does not mean in separate houses; if you and your spouse have been living separate lives under the same roof, that too counts toward the separation time requirement.

Divorce Myth No. 4:  If I leave the house, I will loose my entitlement to the value in it. 

Very untrue.  Whether or not you reside in the house has no bearing on whether you are entitled to any of its value.  Your entitlement is measured by when the property was purchased (after you were married), not whether or not you left the house in the context of a divorce.

Divorce Myth No. 5:  If my spouse cheated or I prove grounds for divorce (emotional or physical abuse), I will get more money or support in the divorce case. 

Completely untrue.  Establishing grounds or abuse in the divorce case does not mean you will get more support or property within court proceedings.  As it relates to cheating, the act itself does not entitle the wronged spouse any greater share of the marital estate;  however, the wronged spouse can nonetheless bring a community waste claim agaist the cheater for the return of marital money and assets used on their new partner.

Divorce Myth No. 6:  I will not get support until my case is over.  

Not true.  Generally, support (on a temporary basis) can be set early on in your case.  The court refers to this as temporary support, meaning that it will be paid until your case is over. Temporary support is usually not an actual reflection of the support you would recieve at the end of your case, but is designed to make sure that all bills get paid during the divorce process.

Divorce Myth No. 7:  Because my spouse moved out, I can prove abandonment.

Not true.  The legal term abandonment only applies when a spouse has essentially dissappeared from the world.  This seldom used "ground" for divorce is never used when a spouse has simply moved out.  Abandonment doesn't apply when your spouse is still holding their job, and you know that they are still in the area.  The concept of abandonment also doesn't necessarily mean that you get a better financial outcome in the divorce. 

If you have additional questions about these topics, please contact
Paul D. Norini at (480) 527-9000 or
email him at: