Plenty of people will happily give you advice about divorce, but many of them don’t know what they’re talking about. Divorce laws in Ohio are different than in other states, and the interpretation of those laws is largely subjective.
Even if someone who offers you advice did get divorced in Ohio, there is no guarantee that what happened in their case will also apply in yours. There are some myths about divorce that are relatively common, and they often lead to people making unreasonable demands in their divorces or feeling disappointed at relatively favorable outcomes.
What are some of the more prevalent divorce myths that impact people’s expectations?
1. Adultery leads to punishment in family court
Although Ohio does technically allow for fault-based divorces, most couples pursue no-fault divorces. If you wanted to divorce by alleging adultery in court, you would need evidence of your spouse’s misconduct.
Simply securing a fault-based divorce would not necessarily mean any major changes to the division of your property or of your parental rights. Cheating only tends to affect divorce when there is proof of wasteful spending in relation to the adultery.
2. The primary parent will get sole custody
A surprising number of people still think that sole custody orders are common in Ohio divorces. Modern judges prefer shared custody arrangements, as research has shown that is what is best for the children in the family.
You would have an uphill battle seeking sole custody unless you have some kind of proof that your spouse would potentially put your children in danger.
3. Litigation is the only option
It is surprising how many people believe the persistent myth that the only way to divorce involves a judge taking control over every detail. Litigation is necessary for many couples, but it is not required to get divorced in Ohio.
Couples can settle their own property division matters outside of court and have the right to create their own parenting plans as well. Litigation can resolve disputes between spouses, but many couples only need to go to court if negotiation or mediation is unsuccessful.
Learning more about what happens during an Ohio divorce can help you have realistic expectations for the process.