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Common Misconceptions About Divorce & Family Law

There are a lot of misconceptions out there surrounding divorce and family law. In 2019, there were 2.6 divorces per thousand inhabitants in Pennsylvania. Whether you have heard horror stories from friends and family or seen a dramatization on TV, you may be going into your own divorce feeling nervous about the outcome. Knowing what you are about to go through is half of the battle. This is where a family law attorney comes in.

At Iwanyshyn & Associates, we want to help you take care of you and your family. Our attorneys work toward that goal while providing personal support. Let’s dive into some things you may have heard and whether or not they have any truth to them.

It’s possible for one spouse to deny the divorce.

False. Whether or not both spouses want divorce does not matter as long as one of them does. You cannot legally force someone to stay in a marriage if they don’t want to. If one spouse is served with divorce papers and they don’t answer it, the divorce becomes uncontested and is decreed on the terms that were served.

If adultery was involved, the other spouse gets everything.

False. Pennsylvania offers both fault and no-fault options when it comes to divorce. This means you can obtain the divorce without assigning the blame to the other party (no-fault divorce). Adultery does not play a role in the divorce or division of assets. It may come into play if alimony is being determined, however.

The mother is always awarded primary child custody.

False. The parent who gets custody of the children is determined by what is in the best interest of the child. The court will look at a variety of factors, including:

  • Where each parent lives

  • What the children want (if they are old enough to provide input)

  • The financial situation of each parent

  • The relationship of the child with each parent

The goal of the court is to make sure that the child lives in the home that is best for them.

You have to get divorced in the state where you got married.

False. The only requirement for divorce is that you are a resident of the state where you are filing for divorce.

Alimony is a part of every divorce.

False. Whether or not alimony is part of a divorce settlement depends on the circumstances of the spouses. If a judge finds that one spouse was financially dependent on the other during the marriage, then alimony is more likely to be a part of the settlement.

The children get to choose who they will live with.

This depends. The court will consider where the children want to live if they are old enough to vocalize what they want. The older the child, the more weight will be given to what the child wants. In the end, the best interests of the child must be upheld, so if the judge determines that the child’s wishes are against that, then the child will live with whoever the court chooses.

Experience Attorneys — Trust Our
Team at Iwanyshyn & Associates

Going through a divorce can be a scary time. One chapter of your life is ending and there is a possibly lengthy legal process attached to it. It does not need to be completely intimidating, however, and this is how our team at Iwanyshyn & Associates can help. We are committed to fighting for your family and making sure we make strategic decisions that will benefit you for years to come. If you are located in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, or the surrounding areas of Pittsburgh, Wexford, Cranberry, or Gibsonia, contact us today to set up a case evaluation.