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Don't fall for any common divorce myths

There are many myths that surround divorces in this country. Often, people don't realize that each state has its own laws regarding divorce, child custody and child support. This means that what worked for a friend in another state won't necessarily work for you. Instead, you need to learn about the specific ways that California laws will impact your case.

If you are preparing for a divorce, you need to explore all of your options. Make sure that you don't fall for some of the more common divorce myths that are floating around.

Grounds for divorce

In California, you don't need to prove that your spouse did something that warrants a divorce. All divorces in this state are "no-fault" divorces that can be based on the simple concept of "irreconcilable differences," which means that you simply can't come to agreements about everything in the marriage. Simply put, a divorce can occur just because spouses can't get along with each other.

Property division

Some people worry that the property division terms are going to "clean them out," but this isn't the case. Property division is based on what is equitable, or fair. In many cases, you and your ex can work out the exact terms together so each person has a say in what will happen. The court will consider various factors, such as each person's contribution to the marriage, if it has to make a determination. The only exception is when there is a prenuptial agreement in place. That agreement will be followed if it is a lawful document.

Child custody and support

It is often assumed that custody is always awarded to the mother, but this isn't the case. Many parents choose to work as a team to make the decisions about child custody. When this isn't possible, they turn to the court. It is imperative to consider what is best for the children when you do this. The impacts various arrangements have on the parents is not factored in.

When it comes to child support, there is a state-mandated formula. If you and your ex work out child support terms, the support payments can't be less than that amount. You should also include factors like health insurance, extraordinary medical expenses, education costs and extracurricular activity fees.

Each of these facets to the legal end of the marriage must be considered separately. Knowing the possible options and how each one applies to your case will empower you to make the most effective decisions.

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