Divorce has the potential to be complex or simple, depending on the circumstances. It also may involve many different factors that may further complicate matters.
Many misconceptions abound about divorce, in part due to the aforementioned possibility of complexity and in part due to depictions in popular media like movies and television shows. Some are more commonly held than others.
1. Mothers have an automatic advantage in custody cases
This is one of the more popular myths, probably because at some point in the past courts did favor mothers over fathers when determining custody. However, there was a reversal of this and today both parents receive equal standing in custody cases. Courts do not consider gender; they look at multiple factors with the goal of determining what is in the best interests of the child.
2. Litigation is the only way
Many divorces resolve without going to court. Long drawn-out battles are not necessary (and even if the couple must undergo litigation, the process may still be short depending on the judge). Tools like arbitration, mediation and collaborative divorce make it possible to avoid going to court altogether and settle on an agreement that suits both sides.
3. Missed child support payments are a legitimate reason to deny visitation
Parents do not have the right to block the other parent’s court-designated access to their children for any reason, including failure to pay child support. Visitation and child support are separate issues. What parents may do is tell the judge about missed payments. The judge may choose to impose penalties or revisit the custody agreement.