Common divorce myths debunked!

There are some common divorce myths I want to debunk. 

1. “I don’t need an attorney.” 

I hear this all the time. Most often I hear this after the party tried representing themselves in the divorce, but then got in over their head. The attorney is trained and experienced to handle conflict. They understand the divorce process. It will save a lot of headache by hiring an attorney. Most often the top objection to hiring an attorney is the cost. The fees do not have to equal the cost of sending the attorney’s child to college. Select an attorney who is committed to dispute resolution. 

2. “A bulldog attorney will get me a better result.” 

I completely disagree with this statement. Based on my own experience, I have seen the opposite result. An attorney who is inflexible, argumentative, stubborn, confrontational, and arrogant may not get a better result. If anything, based on my own experience, involving this type of attorney in the case increases the fees and costs and leaves the family torn at the end of the divorce. The attorney’s personality and approach will impact the outcome of the divorce, including the family relationship after the divorce. Select an attorney who keeps the family in mind and will work with other professionals in the case. 

3. “A judge makes the decision and we have to go to court.”  

This is not true! The collaborative divorce process provides the parties with the opportunity to resolve the divorce outside of court. A judge does not always have to decide how the parties will split the assets and how much time he or she will have with the children, etc. Even if the parties are not in the collaborative divorce process, they can settle the divorce without the judge making the decisions. This can be accomplished through mediation or informal settlement negotiations. I prefer the collaborative divorce process because it is a dispute resolution process where the focus is on resolving the issues amicably and the parties are not litigating, and everyone is working together towards a common goal. In the collaborative divorce process, the attorneys do not make the decisions, the parties make the decisions. All meetings are held out of court. No motions are filed with the court and no hearings take place. The parties and their attorneys dictate the divorce process, not the court. There are options other than going to court.    

4. “A divorce is a war or battle.” 

Divorce doesn’t have to be like the movie The War of the Roses! Not all divorces are like a war or a battle. There does not have to be casualties and enemies. There is a way to divorce amicably. Even with an amicable divorce there is still conflict; however, the level of conflict and the conflict resolution process is what elevates the divorce to war level. The best way to prevent the divorce from escalating to a war is to retain a collaborative trained divorce attorney and use the collaborative divorce process. Don’t view divorce as a war! Instead view it as two adults deciding how their family and single life is defined.    

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