Even if a family member has divorced, it can be difficult to know what to expect when going through the process yourself. As with any life experience, misinformation can lead to misunderstandings about ending your marriage.
Prepare yourself by exploring the facts behind some of the most often repeated divorce myths.
Visitation ends if a parent does not pay child support
In fact, a parent’s ability or failure to pay court-ordered support does not affect the custody or parenting plan. However, New York does have sanctions for parents who do not pay. Monthly child support obligations accumulate from birth to age 21. The state can seize bank accounts, lottery prizes and tax refunds to repay this amount. In addition, the debt will appear as a negative mark on the parent’s credit report. In extreme cases, the parent can receive a jail sentence.
Cheating impacts child custody
Many people believe that committing adultery will cause them to lose their children, their home and their savings in a divorce. Actually, New York does not consider a history of cheating when determining child custody and support. However, if a spouse used marital assets to commit adultery, the other spouse can ask for compensation for this amount if he or she has proof and files for a fault-based divorce. This compensation can come in the form of spousal support or a one-time payment.
Either spouse can deny a divorce
While this notion was true in many states until the 1970s, today, either spouse can ask for a divorce in New York for any reason. You can request a no-fault divorce, which requires the marriage to be “irretrievably broken” for at least six months. You can still claim grounds for divorce such as adultery or abandonment, which eliminates the six-month waiting period.
An attorney who is well-versed in New York divorce law is a trustworthy source of information about what to expect. Guidance from an experienced person and sessions with a therapist can also be helpful during this challenging time.