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Separating divorce facts from divorce fictions

Before you drive a car, hold a job or become a parent, you have preconceived ideas about what those experiences will be like. The reality of the experience is often far different from the preconceived notions about driving, working, parenting and many other parts of life.

So it is with divorce: preconceived ideas clash with the reality of ending your marriage. Many people think divorce will be X, and then it turns out to be Y and Z instead. A recent news article by a financial advice site seeks to separate divorce fictions from fact so that you will be better prepared to tackle one of life's great challenges.

One of the first myths shattered in the article: women automatically win child custody disputes.

“There was a point in time where that may have been the case, but no longer," said a family law attorney quoted in the article. Today, fathers and mothers are on equal footing in custody disputes, with courts looking to protect the best interests of the child first and foremost.

Another myth: "the house is the biggest asset at stake." While that is often true, it is certainly not always true. In divorces involving business ownership, retirement accounts or vacation property, the other assets can often far exceed the value of the primary residence.

And another myth: If your spouse doesn't know about hidden assets, he/she can't claim them. It's not only unethical to hide assets, points out a divorce attorney in the article, it's illegal. Anyone caught hiding assets in a divorce risks financial and personal repercussions.

And finally, this one: "It’s important to fight for everything you’re entitled to receive." In most situations, an experienced family law attorney will help you avoid lengthy and expensive court fights. It's usually in your best interests to negotiate and settle your differences over property division, child support, spousal support (alimony) and other contentious points before walking into a courtroom.

You can discuss your priorities and options with a qualified family law attorney who will protect your rights and interests at all points of the legal process.

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