Going through a divorce can be challenging, but misinformation shouldn’t deter you from making the right choice for your family. Debunking divorce misconceptions can go a long way in ensuring a smoother process. 

Misconception #1: Separation Is the Same as Divorce

Under Canadian law, the Date of Separation can sometimes be referred to as the “point of no return” where couples can no longer resolve their marital problems. Sometimes, couples may sleep in separate bedrooms or live in different homes, or they continue to reside in the same house but as separated spouses. But without the proper legal document, namely a court order decreeing you divorced, you cannot call this a divorce. 

Misconception #2: An Affair Costs More

Victims of cheating often fall prey to common misconceptions about a British Columbia divorce by assuming they are entitled to more money to make up for the pain they’ve endured. Conversely, perpetrators of cheating may fear having to compensate their spouse financially for the indiscretion. In actuality, such conduct has little bearing on financial agreements in divorce, unless it gets in the way of one’s ability to raise a child.

Misconception #3: Mothers Get Custody by Default

When clarifying divorce myths, it’s important to remember that neither parent gets special treatment. The job of the law is to act in the children’s best interests by weighing the evidence impartially to ensure an outcome consistent with the child’s needs. Nevertheless, keep in mind that both parents (provided they lived with the child before separation) share guardianship and parenting responsibilities equally by default, unless a judge otherwise orders. 

Misconception #4: Children 12 and Older Can Pick a Parent to Live With

Law in British Columbia does not give children of any specific age the right to choose which parent they want to live with after a divorce. That doesn’t mean children have no voice in the matter. Depending on the child’s age and awareness of the situation, a judge will consider their views when deciding on parenting arrangements, unless it is inappropriate to do so. But, even though the child may have a voice in the matter, it does not necessarily mean they choose. 

Misconception #5: You Can Handle All of This Without a Lawyer

Even couples who reach an amicable agreement may benefit from the services of an experienced legal professional to learn about rights during a divorce in British Columbia. A lawyer can help you protect your assets, interests, and rights. Also, a lawyer can ensure that your verbal settlement agreement with your ex spouse is accurately reflected in your written separation agreement.

Contact Pier Law & Mediation for Help With Your Case

If you’re facing a divorce, let the team at Pier Law & Mediation represent you. When going through a divorce, getting to a fair settlement is the ultimate goal. Pier Law & Mediation uses a mix of negotiation, mediation, and litigation to get clients the best possible outcomes with the least amount of stress and unnecessary cost. Call (604) 560-8285 to schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer in British Columbia.

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