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Common divorce myths

Individuals in Massachusetts who are considering divorce may have several common misconceptions about the process. One of those is that divorce can be done easily by signing papers before a lawyer. In fact, even simple and amicable divorces are matters that involve the state, and as a result, they cost money and still must go through the court system.

Although Massachusetts is not a community property state, individuals may still think that equitable division in divorce means that assets are split 50/50. However, this is not the case. First, there are procedures for determining what counts as joint property, and individuals may receive different types of jointly shared assets depending on their circumstances and agreement rather than splitting everything equally. Furthermore, the conduct of either spouse during the marriage does not affect the division of marital property. Finally, hiding assets is a bad idea, and it will generally come to light at some point in the proceedings.

Many people assume that courts prefer the mother in custody cases. While in the past, laws may have supported this, this is no longer true. Courts use whatever they determine to be the best interests of the child in custody decisions, and this often means ensuring the child stays with the primary caregiver.

An individual who is considering a divorce may want to consult an attorney. An attorney may be able to answer questions and clear up any further misconceptions. Once the divorce is underway, whether it is amicable or contentious, an individual may wish to continue working with an attorney who can ensure that all paperwork is filed correctly and that an individual's interests are protected.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Divorce Myths to Legally Separate From (Even If You're Single)," Jessica Mason, April 10, 2015

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