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Litigation Blog.
The seasoned lawyers and litigators at The Rubinstein Law Firm are here to share their insights with you.

Truth or falsehood: 3 commonly held misbeliefs about divorce

Divorce is a complex process that involves many factors, from property division to custody considerations if a couple has minor children. It is natural then that many individuals have questions about it and find themselves overwhelmed and confused by the vast amount of information (some of it less than reliable) available.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2.3 out of every 1,000 marriages end in divorce. Among these couples, it is not uncommon for myths to abound about the process of ending a marriage.

1. Adulterers lose everything

People often believe that if a spouse cheats, they automatically receive nothing in a divorce. However, judges in Minnesota base property distribution on what is equitable, which has a basis in numerous factors. Cheating generally is not a consideration in splitting assets or determining alimony. The exception is if the unfaithful spouse used marital funds or property to support his or her infidelity; in this case, courts may take into account the amount taken from shared assets.

2. Individuals can simply refuse to get a divorce

Minnesota is a no-fault state. The only reason needed for a divorce is that the marriage is irrevocably broken. Both spouses do not need to agree. The individual that files may petition the court to move forward, though a judge may require that the couple attend mediation or counseling first to prove that the marriage is unsalvageable.

3. Only women get alimony

Men and women no longer find themselves relegated to traditional gender roles. Courts determine alimony based on the economic situation of each party, which means the spouse with more earning potential and assets may end up paying it, regardless of gender.

Sifting through the misconceptions may help ease the chaos of divorce. Seeking out trustworthy sources is therefore imperative.