It is hard to know what to expect when you and the person you thought you were going to spend the rest of your life with become legal adversaries. For those unfamiliar with divorce, misconceptions can make an already difficult situation more complicated. By knowing some of the common myths you can avoid unnecessary fear about the process.
Divorce Means Having a Trial
While the thought of traditional divorce may conjure images of a bitter courtroom battle where you and your ex hurl insults and accusations at one another, this is seldom a reality. In Wisconsin, like many other states, the majority of divorce cases are settled outside of court.
Divorce has to be About Intense Conflict
There are numerous ways divorcing parties can settle their issues. While the two may disagree about what is reasonable and fair, there are processes such as divorce mediation and collaborative divorce which are designed to reduce conflict and assist in helping each side agree without resorting to hostile tactics.
One Parent will rarely see the Children
Divorcing parents are usually concerned about having to share custody and time with their children. One common fear is that your former partner will become the primary custodian leaving you with occasional and infrequent contact with your kids. While the law allows for joint and sole custody, it generally favors creating a placement (visitation) plan that allows children to continue regular contact with both parents.
Children Can Choose the Parent They Will Live With
While some parents believe their children can choose where they will live, that is not true. In a divorce with kids, Wisconsin family courts are focused on what is in the best interest of the child. While a child’s preference is something the court will take into consideration, it is not a controlling factor.
One Party will have to pay Spousal Maintenance
Spousal maintenance is when one spouse pays the other one money on a temporary or, depending on the circumstances, permanent basis after divorce. The parties can agree to this support, or the court may order it. While spousal maintenance will not automatically be ordered, it may be appropriate. Factors such as each person’s respective education and earning capacity, the length of the marriage, and sacrifices one spouse made to support the other’s career can all be part of the court’s evaluation of whether spousal maintenance is appropriate.
Misconceptions about divorce can create unrealistic expectations and add stress to an already tense situation. We know all aspects of Wisconsin divorce and can answer your questions and help you understand what to expect during the process. Contact us today to have a “first look” at your situation.