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3 Common Divorce Myths


Published on January 18th, 2022

If you’re contemplating divorce, you’ve probably gotten an earful from others about what to expect. And there’s a high likelihood that some of what you’ve heard is not entirely accurate or won’t apply to your case. Not only can misconceptions about divorce be confusing and stress-inducing to someone who is facing the prospect of one, but they can even lead people to make decisions that aren’t in their best interests.

A good divorce lawyer will be able to help you separate truth from fiction when it comes to Illinois divorce law so you can proceed with a clear idea of what lies ahead. That said, here are three common myths you’ve likely heard once or twice:

Myth #1: Most Marriages End in Divorce

How many times have you heard that half of marriages or more end in divorce? That common adage needs to be updated since it is based on figures that date back several decades. The divorce rate in this country more than doubled from 1960 to 1980, during a time of profound social changes. As divorce was becoming socially acceptable for the first time, it makes sense that there was a sudden uptick in breakups.

However, a lot has changed since then. Divorce rates in the U.S. have been on the decline for the past decade. The current rate is roughly 40 percent, and in Illinois it is among the lowest in the nation, according to the United States Census Bureau. This may be partly thanks to a higher percentage of couples opting for cohabitation agreements and domestic partnerships. These types of agreements give couples access to certain legal protections even while opting out of marriage.

The bottom line: Although many couples do eventually separate, if you get married it’s more likely than not that your union will stand the test of time.

Myth #2: Divorce is Acrimonious

The dissolution of marriage is rarely taken lightly and it can certainly bring up painful emotions, even when couples agree it is the right path to take. The stereotype of the bitter divorcee might stem from the many issues that are common sources of disagreement among spouses. A family law attorney can minimize the stress by walking you through decision-making and documentation processes involving complex matters such as:

  • Asset discovery;
  • Division of property and debt;
  • The amount and duration of spousal support;
  • How parenting time will be shared; and
  • Other shared responsibilities.

However, the fact that divorce is complicated doesn’t mean divorcing couples never get along. Some divorce is uncontested, meaning the two parties have reached an agreement regarding the main elements of their case.

There are many reasons two people decide to part ways. Not everyone fights heatedly like in the movies or refuses to speak to each other at all. Once people realize they can’t control their former partner’s behavior, they are often ready to move on with much less antipathy toward their ex. A stronger friendship may even bloom when the two parties are co-parents than when they were married.

Myth #3: Men Don’t Get Custody (Parental Rights) or Spousal Support (Alimony)

Bias in favor of mothers certainly used to be a reality when it came to awarding parental rights in a divorce. When men were the primary breadwinners, it was also assumed that spousal support (a.k.a. spousal maintenance or alimony) would generally be granted to women. But laws have evolved to reflect changes in modern society, including the earning potential of both parents.

Parents have certain rights and responsibilities regardless of their gender. That means that anyone with a minor child who is not the custodial parent might be required by law to pay child support. Failing to comply with such an order, whether you’re the mom or dad, will be met with serious consequences. The same goes for anyone who has been ordered by a judge to pay spousal support.

Fact: Illinois Divorce Takes into Consideration Each Couple’s Situation

Every client’s situation is unique. How parental rights are divided and whether one spouse will be required to make spousal or child support payments may depend on who keeps the house, the parents’ employment situation, and a variety of other circumstances.

Don’t get sidetracked by anecdotes or outdated divorce myths. The highly rated lawyers at  Davis Friedman  have assisted a broad diversity of clients and can let you know what steps are necessary for you to achieve the best results possible. Call  312-782-2220  to schedule a meeting with an attorney today.

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