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Common Myths About Getting Divorced in California

A divorce is one of the most stressful situations a person can go through. And if you don’t know what to expect or have false information going into it, the process can be that much more confusing.

As with many family law matters, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions surrounding divorce in California — we’re here to clear a few up.

Family Law: California Divorce Myths

Myth #1: Adultery will affect the outcome of your divorce.

California is an at-fault state, meaning one spouse can file for divorce due to irreconcilable differences. While some states still allow spouses to file for divorce on fault-based grounds, California does not. Even if you’re able to prove your spouse’s cheating led to the breakdown of the marriage, it likely will not affect the outcome of your divorce.

Myth #2: All divorces go to trial.

Despite what TV shows and movies portray, very few divorce cases go to trial before a judge. Alternative dispute resolution processes, like mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce, allow spouses to negotiate with one another and come to a mutual decision. Typically, only the most highly contested, complex, and high net worth divorces see trial.

Myth #3: All assets are divided 50/50.

California is a community property state. This means it doesn’t require divorcing spouses to divide their assets equally. Instead, everything must be divided equitably.

Community property will be divided based on what is “equitable” or fair. However, it’s important to note that separate property (assets acquired before the marriage), is often not subject to equitable asset division.

Myth #4: Women are always granted spousal support (alimony).

Spousal support was much more common many years ago when fewer women worked. However, now that many women work outside of the home, rates of spousal support have gone down substantially.

That being said, alimony hasn’t disappeared completely. If you believe you’re owed spousal support, our firm can help you understand how much you may be able to receive.

If you’re considering filing for divorce in California, it’s essential you have a native attorney by your side. An attorney can alleviate the emotional stress of a divorce, navigate the family law system, and help you reach a favorable outcome.

Schedule a consultation today by calling our divorce attorneys in San Diego at (619) 577-4900 or complete our convenient online contact form.