Addressing Common Divorce Myths

Divorce is one of the most challenging experiences an individual can go through. It involves navigating a maze of emotional, financial, and familial complexities that can feel overwhelming. The journey through separation and its aftermath is unique for everyone, marked by a spectrum of emotions and decisions that can have lasting impacts.

In light of the intricacies, it's crucial for those considering or embarking on this path to have access to reliable and accurate information. Unfortunately, the discourse surrounding divorce is rife with myths and misconceptions that can cloud judgment and lead to unnecessary anxiety. That's why we've set out to address some of the most common divorce myths. Our goal is to provide clear insights to dispel uncertainties and provide support through this significant life transition.

If you want to discuss your Los Angeles case with Claery & Hammond, LLP, please schedule a consultationby calling (310) 817-6904.

Addressing Courtroom Drama: A Path to Amicable Resolution

The typical portrayal of divorce as a fierce battle fought within the confines of a courtroom is not the only narrative. Many couples navigate their separation with less contention, opting for paths like mediation or collaborative law. These alternatives to traditional courtroom litigation are becoming increasingly popular for their numerous benefits, including reduced emotional strain, decreased financial costs, and more control over the outcome.


Mediation offers a way for couples to work out the details of their divorce with the help of a neutral third party, the mediator. The mediator facilitates discussions, helping both parties reach mutual agreements on various aspects of the divorce, such as asset division, child custody, and support arrangements.

Collaborative Divorce

In a collaborative divorce, each party hires their own attorney trained in collaborative law, and the group works together to resolve disputes out of court. This method emphasizes cooperation and problem-solving. It allows couples to maintain greater control over the decisions that affect their lives.

Child Custody Decisions: Beyond Gender Bias

The belief that mothers are always favored in child custody battles is a myth that overlooks the complexities and fairness of the modern legal system. Today's family courts are guided by a principle that transcends gender bias: the child's best interests. This principle is the cornerstone of custody decisions, leading to outcomes focusing on the child's well-being rather than adhering to outdated stereotypes.

When determining custody, courts delve into various factors, each aimed at understanding what arrangement best serves the child's physical, emotional, and educational needs.

These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • The child’s age and health
  • The emotional ties between the parent and child
  • The child’s ties to their home, community, and school
  • The parent’s ability to care for the child
  • The existence of domestic violence (if any)

Navigating Divorce: The Value of Legal Help

While the law permits individuals to represent themselves in divorce proceedings, known as “pro se” litigation, embarking on this path without legal counsel can be challenging, especially in complex cases. This notion leads us to debunk a common myth: you can effectively manage a divorce without a lawyer. While self-representation is a legal right, it may not always be the wisest action.

Family law is intricate, encompassing many regulations, procedures, and paperwork that can be overwhelming for the uninitiated. A knowledgeable attorney brings a wealth of insights, not only in understanding the legal framework but in navigating the nuances of the court system. They advocate for their client’s rights and interests throughout the process.

The Costs of Divorce: Strategies for Financial Management

The notion that divorce invariably leads to a financial dilemma is a myth that needs careful debunking. While there's no denying that divorce can entail significant expenses, the actual cost varies widely based on several key factors.

Elements that can influence divorce costs include:

  • Complexity of the case
  • Level of conflict
  • Method of resolution

Tips for Managing Divorce Costs

Consider mediation or collaboration to help mitigate some divorce-related expenses. These methods focus on negotiation and agreement, avoiding the high costs of court proceedings.

Also, open and honest dialogue between divorcing parties can significantly lower the level of conflict and, by extension, the costs. Understanding what is most important to you and focusing on those goals can prevent costly legal battles over issues that may not have long-term significance. Prioritizing your objectives can help you achieve a more favorable outcome without unnecessary expense.

Adultery and Favorable Settlements: Understanding the True Impact

A common misconception surrounding divorce is the belief that adultery will dramatically sway the settlement in favor of the wronged spouse. This myth persists despite the evolution of divorce laws, particularly in no-fault divorce states like California.

The concept of no-fault divorce means that the court does not consider the misconduct of either spouse when deciding on the dissolution of marriage, division of property, spousal support, or even child custody. This approach underscores the state's stance that the reasons behind the marriage breakdown are irrelevant to the legal proceedings and should not influence the outcome of the divorce. Therefore, the fact that one spouse committed adultery typically has no direct impact on the financial and custodial decisions made during the divorce process.

However, in nuanced scenarios, adultery may indirectly affect certain aspects of the divorce outcome. For example, suppose the adulterous relationship led to the squandering of marital assets on gifts, trips, or living expenses for the affair partner. In that case, the court might consider this wasteful dissipation of assets in dividing the marital property. Still, these are exceptions rather than the rule.

Manage Your Divorce with Clarity

Divorce, with its intricacies and emotional weight, is a path best navigated with professional guidance. The nuances of family law and the specifics of each case underscore the value of tailored legal advice. A lawyer can provide crucial support, from strategizing a practical approach to advocating for your rights and seeking a fair resolution.

Our Los Angeles lawyers at Claery & Hammond, LLP provide personalized legal representation. Call (310) 817-6904 or reach out online.