Some of them seem approachable via common sense; they are wrong nonetheless.
People take comfort from them because they hold forth hope. What follows are an examination of a number of the most popular and enduring myths attached to divorce.
In many cases, the divorcing spouses agree the children's best interest is with the mother.
In contested cases, where both parents seek custody, the court refracts the question through the prism called the best interests of the child. Despite enormous cultural changes, many judges remain in the sway of what is called Tender Years Presumption and the Maternal Preference, both of which work in favor of the mother.
In many contested cases, lawyers prepare for trial even as they continue to search for a settlement.
This is part of their strategy because divorce negotiations often involve jockeying for the best position.
That symbol of a future commitment - the engagement ring --- belongs to the wife. Wedding rings are gifts from one spouse to the other, and they seldom end up on the table and subject to distribution in a marital settlement. Much to the dismay of many an estranged husband who imagined that a lottery prize would be a ticket up easy street after a divorce, lottery winnings are marital property and subject to division and distribution. Prizes won by married couples during a marriage are marital property, regardless of which spouse purchased the tickets. Only a tiny fraction of all divorce cases ever go to court.
In practice, this usually means that, unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise, the mother becomes the custodial parent.
In general, judges are unmoved by wishes of the children, particular when the children are young.
Jurisdictions often consider service members residents of the state for divorce purposes.
Normally, a person becomes a legal resident of a jurisdciction by living there for a period of time, ranging from six weeks to a year, depending on the applicable state divorce laws. Property settlements and child support are separate issues. Jurisdictions use a number of methods to calculate child support, such as income shares or percentage of income, and judges will permit deviation from these depending upon the unique circumstances of the case.