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Common Family Law Myths Busted

Family law is perceived as complex and difficult to understand. This is true in some ways and specific situations involving family matters.

What is Family Law?

Family law is also referred to matrimonial law, which a form of the law that involves family and domestic relations including marriage, civil unions, domestic partnerships, adoption, surrogacy, child protective proceedings, abuse, and child neglect, juvenile court matters, and paternity. This law enforces legal issues and requirements touching the above matters and relations.

Common Misconceptions on Family Law

These legal issues on family law become more complex and heightened with the advent of some myths and common misconceptions. To bring light on these myths, some experts have busted them. Here are the following common busted myths on family law:

Myth 1: A parent doesn’t have the right to visit the child because he failed to provide the child support on time

Apparently, this is false. The visitation rights of the child could only be withheld if the child is in danger. This requires an emergency court order. It is advisable that if the other parent fails to support your child, then you can take this issue to court for non-payment of child support.

Myth 2: Rich people have the only rights to have marital agreements.

Many reports have been spread that rich couples undertake marital agreement or also known as a prenuptial agreement. On the other hand, this is a misconception in family law. You could have this agreement not only because you are rich but also if you have children from another marriage and you want to be assured that you get what you have set aside for your children in a divorce.

If in case, you have a mother who has a severe medical condition such as Alzheimer’s and you need ongoing care, you can have the agreement to protect the money or assets to fund the care in the divorce.

Myth 3: A partner is entitled to half of their assets once they separated.

This is another misconception. The Family Law Act1975 has enumerated some factors to consider how assets should be divided in case of a divorce. Among them are the following:

  1. The couple has children
  2. If one or both made special contributions during their relationship. These include receiving an inheritance, money or gift or a compensation payment.
  3. Both parties had assets before marriage
  4. Time spent by children with their respective parents after separation
  5. Length of the relationship
  6. Both parties’ age and health
  7. Situations during the relationship that affects the income earning capacity of either one of them

Hands of husband and wife getting divorced

 Myth 4: You could have a property settlement once you are divorced.

Property settlement could be negotiated and formalized in any stage after separation and prior to being divorced. On the other hand, if a certificate of divorce is granted by the Court, the parties will only have 12 months once the certificate becomes effective to formalize a property settlement. Experts advise formalizing their property settlement before applying for a divorce.

Myth 5: Once separated, both parties are entitled to 50/50 custody.

There is no law that once separated the children will spend equal time with their parents. The Family Law Act looks to the Court in making parenting orders and sets out issues that must be considered when deciding about a children’s living arrangements looking only for his/her best interests.

Myth 6: A partner who has unreasonable behavior or committed adultery has less in the division of finances after the divorce.

An aggrieved partner may feel that he or she is owed because of the misbehavior of the other party. On the other hand, this is not the case in Court. It will look at the principles of equality and needs of both parties. This is in strict compliance of being firm, yet fair.

These misconceptions have been disseminated by representations of divorce in the media. On the other hand, those who are going through a divorce must face the realities and apply the laws pertaining it and not be misapprehended by myths. It is also advisable that you consult a divorce lawyer for legal advice.


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