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June 18, 2019

7 Common Misconceptions About Family Law

If you’re about to begin a family law case, you may have lots of questions about what’s in store for the coming months. Friends, family and even various websites may all offer lots of opinions about what happens in family court. Here are seven family law myths:

1. Most family law cases go to trial

The vast majority of family law cases resolve before trial. Building a strong case can actually help your case reach a settlement because the other side can see the strength of your arguments. In addition, participating in settlement discussions including mediation also helps most cases reach a non-trial resolution.

2. Only one parent gets to see the kids

Most parents believe that the parent who wins primary custody is the only parent who gets to see the kids. However, in most cases, both parents get at least some parenting time with the child. It’s only in extreme cases that a court denies any visitation to a parent asking for parenting time.

3. You can deny visitation for child support non-payment

While it might seem fair to withhold the child if a parent isn’t paying child support, child support and visitation are separate things. You may not deny visitation if a parent doesn’t pay child support. Instead, you may take actions to enforce the child support order.

4. Child support is set without input from the parties

Even though child support is based on a formula, you may still provide input into the child support award. The court needs to know the full extent of the circumstances in order to make an accurate calculation. You must gather and provide the information that the court needs to make an accurate calculation.

5. If one party’s name is on the deed or title, they own it

Even when people are married, it’s common for only one party to have their name on a deed or a title. Even when a deed or title is in only one party’s name, that doesn’t mean the asset belongs to that person. With a few exceptions, anything either party acquires during the marriage is a marital asset.

6. When one party has a business, it’s sole property

A business is marital property. Even if one party works at the business and the other doesn’t, the business itself is marital property. The court must account for the increase in the value of the business during the marriage as part of the divorce.

7. There’s nothing you can do to influence the outcome of the case

How you prepare your family law case can significantly impact the outcome. The rules of evidence and the rules of civil court procedure apply to your case. When you carefully prepare your case according to the applicable laws, the court has the information that they need to make a favorable decision.

Understanding family law

Every family law case is different. As you make choices throughout your case, your decisions influence the process and the outcome of the case. Understanding common misunderstandings about family law can help you have confidence in your case.

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