Although national divorce rates are showing a downward trend, last year's figures indicate that 9.7 percent of Minnesota marriages ended in divorce. Many myths have emerged that fuel anxiety about this stressful process. Dispelling these myths can banish unwarranted fears and educate those experiencing or contemplating divorce.
Myth #1: The person filing for divorce has the upper hand
The spouse filing for divorce (the petitioner) has no more rights than the respondent. In addition, Minnesota is a no-fault divorce state in which an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage is all that is required for a divorce. Therefore, any demeaning content about the respondent in the divorce petition is disregarded by the court unless it affects the children's best interests.
A petitioner does have one advantage if the parties reside in different counties. By filing in a certain county, the petitioner determines the venue of the case, with different venues reflecting different judicial approaches to custody and alimony. However, the respondent can apply for a venue change if a good reason is proven.
Myth #2: If I leave the house, I'll lose it
Whether or not you live there, the home you purchased while married is classified as a marital asset. This means that its value is taken into account in calculations for the final property division in a divorce. However, bear in mind that the occupant of the family home is harder to oust while the divorce is ongoing.
Myth #3: Divorce is better for the children
A family's dynamics change once parents separate, and this affects your relationship with your children. It is not uncommon for children to suffer emotional and behavioral problems in the aftermath of an acrimonious divorce, so ensure that you make the best decision given the totality of the circumstances.
Myth #4: Divorce is about winning
We often read about monumental celebrity divorce settlements. However, there is usually no winner in a divorce, with parties typically being left with less material wealth than when they were married. If we could point to any real victors here, they would surely be divorcing couples who strive for cooperative parenting relationships for the sake of their children.
Contact the reliable, sympathetic and experienced divorce lawyers at Hess & Jendro Law Office, P.A. for help in navigating your divorce.