Your Advocate For A New Life

Julia M. Garwood • Certified Family Law Specialist

Common Divorce Myths


When so many people have already gone through a divorce, it’s easy to hear their stories and believe they are the standard rather than the exception. Divorce is a complex process with a lot of varied emotions, meaning that what’s true for one person’s divorce is completely false for another person. That is why it is so important to speak with a qualified San Diego family attorney when you have any questions about the divorce process.

Someone who practices family law in San Diego will have the experience needed to help you separate stories from facts. To help you clear things up right away, we’re proud to offer you the realities behind a number of common divorce myths.

  • Having a baby improves a marriage and reduces the risk of divorce. This is a very unfortunate misconception. Having a baby will not only put a child into a bad situation if the parents do divorce, but it may even make a divorce much more likely. The stress of a newborn child is so hard on relationships that even happy couples have found themselves at their wit’s end.
  • A period of unhappiness means it’s time to get divorced. There is no single deciding factor as to when to end a marriage. Some seemingly miserable couples have managed to stay together for over fifty years. Other happy couples get divorced when they realize they are no longer in love. The choice to get a divorce is between you and your partner, no one else. Just remember every marriage has its ups and downs, so if things are usually good in your marriage, you may consider giving things another try. If things are at their end though, it may be time to contact your San Diego family lawyer.
  • Providing a stepparent for your child is better than being a single-parent. It is good to provide children with both a mother and father figure in their lives, but a child may have issues accepting a stepparent. No one will replace a child’s biological parent and studies have shown children do just as well with a stepparent as they do in a single-parent home.
  • When your spouse cheats on you, it helps you in the divorce process. This is only true in states without no-fault rules. Because California does have a no-fault standard, it does not matter if your spouse commits adultery. The exception is in situations involving a prenuptial agreement that have an adultery clause.
  • Pet owners have no legal recourse to seek custody of their animals. This may be true in other states, but not in California. Our state laws allow the courts to grant custody to a pet owner and even issue a restraining order to prevent the abduction or abuse from the other party.
  • Whoever bought property in the marriage will get to keep it. Because we live in a communal property state, anything bought during the marriage will be divided equally. The only exception occurs when the couple has a pre or post nuptial dictating property be divided differently.
  • Inheritances are split during divorces. Property that is inherited by one person is theirs and theirs alone. This will not be divided between the spouses in a divorce.
  • Women always get custody. Years ago, this was a standard practice of divorce courts around the country. Now however, courts accept that a mother or father are equally good guardians for children and custody is decided based on a number of factors including the child/parent relationship, each parent’s financial stability, each parent’s criminal record, the child’s overall well being and more.
  • Alimony is always given to a woman after the divorce. Again, this is an outdated model for divorce courts. These days, the court will consider the financial standing of each individual and their standard of living; they will then consider what would be fair to both parties. Often, women will end up paying spousal support to their husbands.
  • Divorces are ugly and bitter affairs. This is often true, but not always. Some couples stay intimate friends after they separate from one another. When you hire a San Diego family lawyer with experience working in mediation sessions, you are doing your part to reduce the stress and anger associated with traditional courtroom divorce proceedings.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a skilled San Diego family attorney, please contact Garwood Family Law and Mediation. Whatever your needs, we will be happy to help.


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