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Divorce mythbuster: Sorting fact from fiction

Before you decided to divorce, you may have discussed the idea with friends or family members who have already navigated the process in Virginia. If so, you may have received some worthwhile advice and information about how to keep stress levels low and bounce back quickly once the court hands down your decree. You may also have been given some misinformation, however, as there are many divorce myths circulating that a lot of people believe if they don't take time to determine fact from fiction.

To make informed decisions as you enter divorce proceedings, there are several things you'll want to do ahead of time. These include seeking clarification of divorce laws in this state, making sure you're aware of your rights and also lining up support resources that you can quickly access if needed, which can include the contact information of a counselor or support group in your area.

Getting the facts straight prevents a lot of problems

How do you know whether what someone tells you about divorce is fact or fiction? One way is to check your facts with someone who is well versed in Virginia divorce law. The following list of myths versus facts may also be helpful:

Myth: You cannot divorce without hiring an attorney.

Fact: You can go it alone in a divorce if you choose to do so, but your chances of obtaining a swift, fair and agreeable outcome increase significantly if you act alongside an experienced advocate who has helped others accomplish their immediate and long-term goals in divorce.

Myth: Mothers automatically get custody of their children.

Fact: There may have been a time in America when this was true, but it is far from so nowadays. Many fathers have full physical and legal custody of their kids. Also, more and more divorced spouses are choosing to co-parent; in fact, some even let their kids stay in the marital home while the parents they take turns living there with them.

Myth: You have to go to the state where you married to get divorced.

Fact: As long as you fulfill the residency requirements, you can file for divorce in Virginia or any other state you live in even if it is not where you got married.

It's also not a given that you and your spouse will engage in long, contentious debates over every issue that arises in divorce proceedings. In fact, some spouses never even enter a courtroom because they are able to negotiate an amicable settlement outside of court.

Those who do often have help

A family law attorney is a great asset that many people access when they want to protect their rights and make sure proceedings focus on their children's best interests. An experienced attorney acts on a client's personal behalf with the highest priority of seeking a fair and positive outcome.

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