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Common myths about child custody, property and divorce

Some people in California who are considering divorce might feel that the end of the relationship is the fault of one person or the other. This is a common misconception. In most divorces, both people usually bear some measure of responsibility. If people do not examine why it has happened, this could be one reason that second marriages are even more likely to end in divorce.

Another common misunderstanding is that having separate accounts means that property will be considered separate throughout the divorce process. However, this is not usually the case, particularly in a community property state like California. People should also not assume that the end of the marriage means an end to their problems. A reduction in the standard of living is not unusual after a divorce, and parents must continue to raise their children together.

Some men might assume that they will not get custody of their children or alimony, but neither of these are true. As the role of mothers and fathers in the family become more flexible, men who have been the main caregivers for their children may be more likely to get custody. If men earn significantly less than their spouses or have stayed home with their children, they may get spousal support until they start a new career.

These issues do not necessarily have to be decided in court. Some couples may be able to negotiate an agreement. Mediation may help them work through conflict and reach a solution for property division and child custody and visitation. This gives the couple an opportunity to work out flexible solutions that suit them and their individual situation. For example, instead of dividing all their assets in half, one person might keep the home, and the other might keep a savings or retirement account.

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