Common divorce misconceptions

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2016 | Divorce

Minnesota, like all other states, has a no-fault divorce law that allows couples to end irretrievably damaged marriages without having to prove wrongdoing, but that does not necessarily mean that behavior like infidelity or domestic violence is without consequence. Family law judges across the country may take the egregious actions of spouses into consideration when making spousal support rulings, and this can be particularly true when spouses have attempted to conceal assets or used marital funds to pay for affairs.

Another common family law misconception is the belief that spouses are released from their mortgage obligations when their former husbands or wives are awarded the family home in a divorce settlement. Banks expect to be repaid, and they will rarely be deterred by divorce documentation when mortgages fall into arrears. If homes or other secured assets cannot be refinanced, the best way to avoid these issues may be to insist that those who receive them sign a statement that makes their responsibilities clear.

Disputes over retirement accounts can also put a quick end to hopes for a quick and amicable divorce. Divorcing spouses often mistakenly believe that federal law protects their retirement savings from the clutches of their former wives or husbands, and they are sometimes shocked to learn that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 includes an exception for divorce settlements that are supported by court orders.

may find the process of ending a marriage less frustrating and arbitrary when they understand the gist of the laws involved and know what to expect, and experienced family law attorneys may seek to protect their clients from the consequences of incorrect assumptions by addressing common divorce misconceptions during their initial client consultations. Attorneys may also seek to reduce conflict by suggesting alternatives to traditional divorce negotiations like mediation or arbitration.