Divorce is a common experience, but that doesn’t mean that the average person really understands what a Texas divorce involves. In fact, divorce’s commonness has led to a proliferation of urban legends and myths surrounding the divorce process.
Some of what you hear may be accurate in another state. Other times, it may have been true years ago but has changed due to changes in the law. Some claims simply have no basis in reality whatsoever. When you understand the truth of the five myths listed below, you may feel less nervous about moving forward with a divorce.
Myth #1: You have to blame everything on your spouse
While fault-based divorces do exist, Texas does not require them. You can simply divorce because of insupportability and never level accusations against your ex, even if you have a reason like adultery to file for divorce.
Myth #2: If you leave the house, you lose the house
It is surprising how frequently people will tell others not to move out of the marital home because that means they abandon the house and won’t get it in the divorce. Even if you don’t regain possession or the right to live in the house, you will still receive your fair share of its value in the divorce proceedings.
Myth #3: The children get to pick where they want to live
Some parents will try to become their children’s best friend during a divorce, no longer enforcing rules and showering them with gifts. Parents might behave this way both out of guilt for disrupting the family via divorce and in hopes that the children will “pick” them. While older children do have a say in litigated divorces and are subject to an interview with the judge, their opinions will not be the only thing that matters in custody determinations.
Myth #4: Custody laws favor one sex over the other
Depending on whom you talk to, people might blatantly tell you that custody laws innately favor women or men. However, in Texas, the law about custody is actually gender-neutral. The judge looks at the relationship each parent has with the children and tries to make a decision that is in the best interests of the kids.
Myth #5: You should start a secret bank account
Quite a few people with good intentions will tell those considering divorce to start a secret bank account or create a cache of cash by making small withdrawals over many weeks. The idea is to give someone resources for their short-term needs when they file for divorce and require temporary housing.
In reality, this practice might constitute dissipation or hiding assets and could affect the way that the courts split your property in the future. Marital or community assets, including wages you earn during the marriage, are not something that you should hide or keep away from your spouse, especially immediately prior to filing for divorce.
Getting good guidance about divorce often requires an understanding of how the Texas family law system works. Asking for help now can help you make better decisions as you start your new life.