5 common myths about divorce in California
Updated: Dec 8, 2017
Here are the 5 most common myths about divorce that I hear from clients.
MYTH: I need to have a reason to get a divorce.
FACT: California is a no fault state, which means that you do not need a reason to get a divorce.
So, if you or your spouse wants a divorce, the court is not going to stop you from getting one!
MYTH: I will not have to pay spousal support if the other spouse is working.
FACT: Spousal support is intended to help the lesser earning party get back on their feet and
allow them to have a lifestyle that is similar to what it was during marriage. This means that if
one spouse earns significantly less than the other spouse, then the higher earning spouse will
have to pay the lesser earning spouse until the lesser earning spouse gets back on his/her feet.
MYTH: Courts favor mothers over fathers when determining the custody of the minor children.
FACT: The courts always look at the “best interests of the child” when evaluating custody of the
minor children. As a general rule, this means that the court has an obligation to ensure that the
minor child gets to spend time with both parents unless there are legitimate concerns on why
the minor children should be with one parent primarily or more than the other parent.
MYTH: I am not responsible for my spouse’s debts if I didn’t know about them during the marriage.
FACT: California is a community property state, which means that you and your spouse not only
share your assets equally, you also share your debts equally! This means that even if your
spouse ran up that credit card debt without your knowledge or permission, you are responsible
for 50% of it, unless your spouse is willing to take absolve you from some or all of the debt!
MYTH: My divorce is “simple” so it should not cost me much to get one.
FACT: Unless you have been married for just a few months and have not had any children or
obtained any property or debt during that time, your divorce is most likely not simple and you
will need to at the very least, still follow the necessary disclosure and procedural requirements
to obtain a divorce. This can take several months to possibly years.
DISCLAIMER: This content is based on the general rule of thumb in California. There are always
exceptions to the general rule, so please consult with an attorney to understand how the law
applies to your specific case.