Fact or fiction? A quick look at divorce myths

What some people view as facts about divorce may actually be fiction. Learn more about common myths associated with this legal proceeding.

Many couples in Texas go through a divorce. In a single calendar year, there were 80,030 divorces in Texas that were reported to the Vital Statistics Unit, according to the Department of State Health Services. In the same year, the crude divorce rate was 3.1 per 1,000 residents. Even though divorce is not an uncommon process, many people have a misguided view on the proceedings that go along with dissolving a marriage.

Mothers always get custody.

While it may be common practice for mothers to get custody of their children, it is not always the case. In fact, 17.5 percent of custodial parents are fathers according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration. Typically, courts try to do what is best for the child involved. This can mean one parent gets sole custody, or it could mean both parents share custody.

Women always get alimony.

Historically, women make less money than men. Not only that, but some women even stopped working after they had children in order to raise a family. Alimony, sometimes referred to as spousal support, goes to the lower-earning spouse regardless of gender. Because women tend to put their careers on hold for family, they often are the recipients for this funding, but as gender roles change, it has become more common for the man to receive some financial support after a divorce.

Time.com says that around 3 percent of alimony recipients are male. While this number is small, it is bigger than it used to be. It goes to show that no matter which spouse gave up educational or career opportunities, getting alimony may be a possibility.

All premarital assets go to the original owner.

Some people going through a divorce may think that splitting up assets is black and white. If one spouse owned a house prior to the nuptials, he or she may think that the house will remain in his or her custody. However, this is not always the case. A premarital asset may be divided among a separating couple in certain circumstances, such as the following:

  • If the asset was used for marital purposes, such as a home the couple lived in, it could be reclassified as joint property.
  • If the spouse was added as a co-owner of the property after the marriage, it is considered a marital asset.
  • If money earned during the marriage, which is considered the property of both spouses, is used to maintain the asset, both spouses may be entitled to a portion after a separation.

Dividing assets, whether they were gained prior to or during the marriage, can be a complicated process.

Even though divorces are fairly common in Texas, there are still some misunderstandings. Whenever separation is considered, it may be beneficial to work with a knowledgeable attorney.