Many of my clients will tell me what they hear from their friends or family, or what they believe will happen in a divorce. Here are 10 myths that I often hear about divorces.
- Myth: Child support ends at 18 years of age.
This is False. In New York State, child support ends at 21 years of age. There are some very limited exceptions, which your attorney can explain to you.
- Myth: The house (deed) is in my name only, so my spouse doesn’t own it.
Probably False. Typically, if you bought the house after your marriage, it doesn’t matter that the deed is only in your name, you and your spouse will have equal ownership. There can be some exceptions, so you need to discuss this with your attorney.
- Myth: My spouse had an extra-marital affair, so I will get more money for child support or maintenance.
Almost always False. Rarely does an extra-marital affair affect the amount of child support or maintenance that you will receive. Again, there are exceptions, and every situation is different.
- Myth: Once the Judge hears my side of the story, the Judge will give me what I want.
Almost always False. Judges follow the law. More importantly, Judges rarely give you what you want and there is the common saying, there is your side, your spouse’s side and the truth. In addition, Judges rarely hear your “side of the story”, as that typically only happens at trial. Most divorce cases settle, and trials are very rare. Even if there is a trial, you don’t get to “tell a story”, you answer questions from your attorney. After that, your spouse’s attorney gets to do cross-examination, where they get to put “holes” in your testimony.
- Myth: The amount of child support that I will pay is based on my take-home pay.
This is False. As everyone knows, you have your gross pay and then your take-home or net pay. However, the amount of child support that you will pay is not based on your take-home pay or on your net pay. The amount of child support is mostly based on your gross income, and usually you only get to deduct the amount that you paid in Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes. This amount will be a lot more than your take-home pay.
- Myth: I just lost my jobs, so I should be able to pay less in child support.
Maybe. Simply losing your job is not enough to demonstrate that you should pay less in child support. At a minimum, you have to show at least two things: (1) that you lost your job through no fault of your own and (2) that you are diligently looking to get a new job. You will have to prove to the court why you should pay less in child support.
- Myth: If I pay $100 a week in child support, my monthly obligation is $400 a month.
This is False. In this example, your monthly obligation would be $433.33 a month. This is because your yearly obligation would be $5,200 a year, which divided by 12 months, equals $433.33. It is important to remember that on average there are about 4.33 weeks in each month.
- Myth: If my child goes to college, I don’t have to pay child support.
Almost always False. In New York, you have to pay child support until your child turns 21 years of age, even if the child is in college. You may be able to reduce the amount of child support you pay when your child is attending college, but, it is very rare that you would not pay for child support. You need to discuss this with your attorney to get more information.
- Myth: Only rich people need a pre-nuptial agreement.
This is False. When you get married, you may not have a lot of income or assets. However, many people will receive a pension or obtain a 401(k) or IRA, these are assets that can be protected by a pre-nuptial agreement. In addition, you never know how much money you will earn in the future, it is better to plan ahead. It is important to note that many studies show that having a pre-nuptial agreement actually helps most marriages.
- Myth: I don’t need an attorney, I’ll represent myself.
Almost always False. If you represent yourself in your divorce, most likely, you will not know all the laws and you will probably end up costing yourself more money than if you hired a divorce attorney. Even, most matrimonial attorneys will not represent themselves, because, as Abraham Lincoln said (when he was an attorney, not yet President), “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
As you can see, most of what you believe to be true, is actually False, or usually False.
If you need an expert to help you in your divorce, then call the Badanes Law Office. They know what is true in a divorce and what the myths are. David Badanes, Esq. has helped individuals in their divorce. Call the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Garden City, Nassau County.
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