Divorce isn’t as mythologized as it once was, but there are still a lot of misconceptions floating around that change how people understand divorce. These misunderstandings can lead to people choosing not to divorce or even marry because they fear what divorce entails. Continue reading to join us as we set the record straight and debunk 10 divorce myths that have made their way into the public conscience.
One common myth about divorces and marriages is that after getting divorced the first time, you’re less likely to get divorced in your next marriage. Second marriages can quickly become complicated, especially when considering the difficulties of raising children in blended families. You shouldn’t go into a second marriage expecting a divorce, but on the other hand, you shouldn’t take it for granted and think divorce isn’t a possibility.
Another common misconception about divorce is that men are more commonly the initiators. The truth is that, in relationships between men and women, women are most often the people who initiate the divorce process.
One myth that has hurt many families is the belief that getting pregnant and having a child can save a relationship. Many people in a struggling relationship want to believe that things can be better, so instead of opting to end the relationship, they try something else: having a child. Couples with children have a lower likelihood of divorce, but this correlation does not equate to causation. Rather, more stable and happy people in marriages will pursue having a family, but the family and children aren’t why they stay together.
It’s important to debunk this myth because adding a child can quickly worsen the relationship. Having children is stressful, and if you end up getting a divorce, your child will have to navigate life between two households.
Some people believe that while a parent’s divorce is not the best for children, the negative effects are temporary. In some instances, this can be true, but for many families, things are much more complicated than that. Divorce has long-lasting ramifications for those in the marriage and their children. A standard divorce can end healthily, and a child may grow to understand, but poor communication or a difficult divorce process can often leave them confused or upset.
There’s another myth that a man’s standard of living will improve while a woman’s drops significantly following a divorce. This statistic may have been more of the case in previous years, but life has changed in the last few decades. A few decades ago, some people may have ostracized divorced women, and it was much harder for them to raise children independently due to a lack of employment or financial independence opportunities.
Today, both parents often work and have independent skills and resources. The standard of living each spouse experiences after a divorce is more dependent on their own resources and choices.
There’s another myth about children and divorce—some people assume that if parents fight a lot, it’s better for the children if the parents get a divorce instead of trying to make it work. A child should never be in an abusive home, but the process of divorce can also be traumatic.
In instances like these, there’s a lot of gray area rather than one-size-fits-all solutions. If you and your spouse engage in incredibly heated arguments still despite trying alternative styles of communication or working with professionals, divorce may be worth discussing. However, if you and your child’s safety does not seem at risk and you are happily invested in your relationship, it may be worth continuing to seek other solutions.
Similar to the last point, there’s another myth that if you are unhappy, divorce is the only solution. While this can be the best solution for some, it should come after extensive communication between you, your partner, and potentially a marriage counselor. Sometimes, even seeing a personal therapist can help, as some issues may be personal and not related to the marriage. Like everything else in life, marriages can be rocky, and these stressful moments come and go. While divorce can be the answer, it is rarely the best first resort.
A common myth in social circles and online is that mothers always receive custody and that divorce court has a bias against fathers. These two myths go hand in hand, and both are untrue. A just court doesn’t pay attention to someone’s gender; it solely focuses on the interest and well-being of the children.
Another misconception is that in the event of a divorce, both parties receive half of the marital estate. This partitioning varies from state to state, but in Illinois, the courts distribute based on equity rather than simply being equal. Courts look at income and other applicable factors when dividing assets to ensure one spouse doesn’t end up with a greater burden than the other.
One huge myth about divorce is that if your partner committed adultery, they lose their ability to get anything in the divorce. It varies state by state—however, more states are no-fault divorce states, meaning that something such as adultery does not create blame in a marriage. Unless the adultery severely impacted finances and parenting ability, the division of assets would be the same as a divorce without adultery. This aspect applies to divorces in Illinois.
After seeing the record set straight and these 10 divorce myths debunked, you may realize that divorce isn’t as scary as you thought it was. If you wish to pursue a divorce, come to us at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck. We are some of the best collaborative divorce lawyers in Illinois, and we can keep your divorce amicable and simple but still ensure your interests are represented.