"Stay Together for the Kids" and Six Other Misconceptions About Divorce

Couple Sitting Apart on a Bench, While the Woman Looks Out in the Distance

A little misinformation goes a long way, especially when you’re considering divorce. You might need weeks or months of careful reflection before you actually take the leap. Research and advice can come in handy during this time, but how do you differentiate the truths from the myths? Take a look at these common misconceptions and set the record straight before you make—or break—a commitment.

  1. Stay together for the kids

There’s nothing wrong with trying to salvage a marriage before resorting to divorce. If you’ve fallen completely out of love and have nothing in common except the kids, it’s probably time to reevaluate your situation. You may not realize it, but the old-fashioned “stay together for the kids” stance puts undue pressure on the child. After all, your children notice more than you might think. They remember your arguments and often internalize scenes of friction, uncomfortable silence, and emotional distance.

Your marriage should have its own solid foundation; it is not your child’s responsibility to keep it afloat. They should never have to feel guilty because you sacrificed a happy and healthy spousal relationship for their sake. Divorce is a decision to live truthfully, and in the end your honesty will set a better example for your kids.

  1. Divorce will end in bad blood between my Ex and I

Divorce is a conscious choice, and so is your behavior in the midst of a breakup. You can choose to act in good faith no matter how many bitter feelings arise. Some say there is no such thing as a completely amicable divorce. Regardless of whether that is true, you can both try your best to keep things civil—especially if there are children involved. More often than not, your ex will pick up on your attitude and make an effort to act in kind.

  1. Divorce is always expensive

While the fee to file a divorce in Oregon is $273, the total cost of a divorce generally depends on the time it takes to resolve all legal conflicts between the two parties. The faster you both agree to the terms and conditions of your divorce, the more you will save in fees. Approximately 95% of divorces in the U.S. settle without trial, which means both parties come to a fair agreement and forgo a potentially long and expensive series of court battles.

Collaborative divorce, as a category of uncontested divorce, involves a negotiation between both parties with the help of attorneys and other divorce or finance specialists. This method empowers you to argue for your best interests with the support of informed and experienced professionals. You are far less likely to go to court if you follow this process, saving you significant financial and emotional expenses.

  1. Ex-wives always get the better deal

This common notion might appeal to scorned exes, but it has no basis in fact. It is framed as a problem of gender bias when it really depends on a balanced evaluation of the divorcing couple’s life. Decisions like the division of assets, alimony, and child custody depend on several factors. A judge will consider a stay-at-home spouse’s potential for employment in the case of alimony, for instance, and look at each parent’s child care capabilities when it comes to child custody. The outcome may not involve a 50/50 split of assets and equal treatment for each parent, but it will be fair in the eyes of the law.

  1. Divorce is an admission of failure

Even the best relationships are complicated, and they should never be reduced to a win-or-lose scenario. All the same, some unhappy spouses are hesitant to divorce because they are worried others will perceive it as a failure.

Your health and happiness are more important than the perceptions of others. When you decide to end an unhealthy relationship, you take a big step towards personal success. You distance yourself from negative influences and choose to embrace new experiences. Whether you want to follow a path of self-improvement, pursue your dreams, or seek more fulfilling relationships, the choice is entirely yours.

At Pacific Cascade Legal, we are dedicated to providing you with accurate and up-to-date information about divorce and child custody laws. Don’t take action with the wrong information—make sure you have an experienced attorney to guide you through the process.