I saw an article by Marlisse Cepeda in Womans Day, that was republished on Yahoo News. She notes that nobody wants to get divorced, but those statistics that get passed around make it seem like it’s an almost inevitable consequence of getting married. But have no fear! The truth is less grim than the fiction here. From that ominous 50% divorce rate to pre-wedding cohabitation’s effect on marriage, here are the seven most popular misconceptions about splitting up. (Read the entire article here for the complete debunking).
Myth #1: One in two marriages ends in divorce.
Truth: The divorce rate has been steadily decreasing since the 1980s, and a more accurate divorce rate for American marriages ranges from 40% to 50%. And remember: this factors in people who marry over and over again which drives up the rate.
Myth #2: Living together before marriage lowers the chance of divorce.
Truth: The circumstances under which you decide to move in together make all the difference. If cohabitation occurs out of necessity (say, your partner lost his job and can’t afford to live on his own), the experience doesn’t benefit the relationship. It can reduce the chance of divorce as long as it’s done thoughtfully.”
Myth #3: Second marriages are more likely to last than first marriages.
Truth: One thing’s for sure: giving marriage another go definitely ups the chances of divorce. Roughly 67% to 80% of second marriages end in divorce, and third marriages crumble at an even higher rate. If you already know how to get divorced, the more likely you see it as an option.
Myth #4: Divorce is incredibly expensive.
Truth: When you constantly see headlines about celebrity couples engaged in “multi-million dollar divorces,” it’s easy to think this. However, as long as the two parties involved amicably agree on who gets what and don’t head to court each time to make a decision, the fees are manageable. “Conflict resolution is less expensive than conflict escalation,” meaning: Litigation can be a long, drawn-out process, which can simultaneously heighten clashes and hike up charges, while mediation typically involves less time to reach a resolution, which translates to lower fees.
Myth #5: All ex-wives get alimony.
Truth: Not all divorces involve alimony (money that one spouse is legally obligated to pay the other, either over time or in one lump sum, agreed upon at the time of the divorce, the purpose being to provide either partner with the lifestyle he or she had throughout the marriage. Alimony can be granted when one spouse, wife or husband, is financially dependent on the other. The shorter the marriage, the less likely it is that one spouse became financially dependent on the other.
Myth #6: The mother almost always gets custody of the children.
Truth: Many people think that mothers should always get custody. Legally, though, that’s not the case. Even if the mom is the child’s primary caregiver throughout the marriage, both parents are “entitled to substantial time with the kids. If both parents are fit to raise the child, they’re typically granted some form of shared custody.
Myth #7: The US’s divorce rate is higher than every other country’s.
Truth: We’re definitely up there on the list. The US has the sixth-highest divorce rate. Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and the Cayman Islands take the top five spots in that order. As for the lowest rates, marriages in Sri Lanka, Brazil and Italy last the longest, possibly due to religion and financial stability motivate women to stay married.
If you are considering or have questions about divorce, contact our Marietta family law firm, Georgia Family Law: Worrall Law LLC. We help families who are going through the divorce process. You may reach us by calling 770.425.6060 or by filling out an online contact form.