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Child custody and other family law myths

The basics of divorce may seem obvious to most people. However, much of what people believe to be fact regarding California family law is more myth than anything else. From child custody to property division, there is no shortage of misinformation.

Fathers play active and important roles in the lives of their children, both before and after divorce. However, even as fathers are increasingly taking on caregiver roles, the myth that mothers are automatically awarded primary custody still persists to this day. Ultimately, child custody comes down to the best interests of a child, which usually means regular involvement from both parents.

Alimony is another area of family law that has a persistent, gender-based myth. This myth purports that women are almost always the recipients of alimony, while men will always foot the bill. In reality, alimony is based on a number of factors, none of them including gender. Income is usually the primary factor in decisions regarding spousal support.

Not all family law myths revolve around gender. There is still a significant amount of misunderstanding when it comes to property, and what qualifies as a community asset versus separate. Many people believe that if they keep things physically separate during marriage, such as income in a personal bank account, that it will be considered separate property. However, that income and the money contained in the separate account will most likely be community property, which means it will be subject to property division.

Divorce is a difficult period of time, and it is understandable that a person might mistakenly take a family law myth for truth. However, doing so can have unfortunate and unintended consequences. Rather than hope for the best for things like child custody, property division and more, an individual going through a divorce might be well advised to speak with a California attorney about these processes.

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