Myths of Family Law

pen-idea-bulb-paperHere are some common misconceptions of family law.


1. I owned the house before we were married, so I get it.


It is possible that a house purchased before marriage will remain the property of the purchaser, but there are a lot of things that can change that. If the parties refinanced the house during the marriage, there’s a good chance the house is now community property. Also, if there was a mortgage that was paid using community funds, then the community may have an interest. There are quite a few other ways that the property may not go completely, or at all, to the person who originally purchased it.


2. I pay a lot for my mortgage, so I’ll get a break on my child support.

This is not only untrue, but the reverse is usually true: paying a big mortgage can raise your child support payments! That’s because child support is based on income, and considers any tax breaks. So if you are paying off a big mortgage, it won’t reduce you’re income, but it might decrease your taxes. Less taxes mean more money for support, and higher ordered support.


3. I paid off my spouse’s bills from before we were married, so I can get that money back when we divorce.

Except in very specific cases, you do not get a credit later for paying off your spouse’s pre-marital debt.


4. I’m the Mother, so I get the kids.

While the primary caregiver may have argument for a larger timeshare, every family is different, and a “one size fits all” approach is dangerous. It could well be it’s in the best interests of the children for them to spent the majority of their time with their Father. It depends on the specific circumstances, and every family is different.


5. The Court can prevent my ex from moving to a different state.

Just the opposite, in all most all circumstances the Court cannot prevent a party from moving. On the other hand, the Court can make orders to prevent minor children from moving, which often convinces a parent to stay.

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