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More Common Myths about Divorce

Divorce is one of the most common legal proceedings, so it should come as no surprise that an immense amount of misinformation exists on the subject. Misconceptions about divorce are dangerous for those going through the process—they often make mistakes because they believe things that are simply untrue or are unaware of their options.

Expanding on a previous post, here are a few more widely-believed fallacies about divorce in New York that it’s time to dispel once and for all:

  • Half of marriages end in divorce. This statistic is misleading. It is true that the Centers for Disease Control reports the rate of divorce is about half the rate of marriage. But the data is complicated, and the truth is that marriages are lasting longer as the median age for marrying rises.
  • Moving out of a marital or family residence during divorce could be considered abandonment and disentitle you to the property. In truth, if you are going through the divorce process, at a certain point one spouse must move out — physical separation is a natural first step. Even if only your spouse’s name is on the deed, a family home is typically considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution, regardless of who vacates first.
  • Any couple can file for divorce in Long Island. Couples must meet New York residency requirements in order to qualify for divorce anywhere in the state.
  • If my child is over 13 years old, he or she must choose which parent to live with following the divorce. Courts would never force a child to pick which parent is his or her favorite. When teens and older children are involved in a divorce, the court may consider their opinions as they decide on an appropriate custody arrangement — but never if the child is reluctant to choose or incapable of understanding the implications of his or her decision.

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