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What Are Some Common Misconceptions About Divorce and Money?

When a couple in California goes through a divorce, financial issues such as property division and spousal support will come up. There is often confusion about exactly how the settlement of these issues will affect a person financially. This post will go over some misconceptions a person might have with regards to money and divorce.

Sometimes a couple gets divorced because one party had an affair. The party who was cheated on may think that, due to the affair, they will automatically have an advantage when it comes to property division and spousal support. However, this is not always the case. These days, all states permit "no-fault" divorce wherein neither party needs to show that some sort of wrongdoing took place. A divorce settlement is not meant to be punitive. Instead, it is simply meant to see that divorce legal issues are resolved in an appropriate manner.

Also, when a couple is married, one party may stay out of the workforce in order to care for the home. If the couple later divorces, the party that stayed out of the workforce may automatically assume that they will receive spousal support for the rest of their life. However, the trend these days is toward more rehabilitative spousal support arrangements. This means that while a party may be awarded spousal support, it will only last as long as is necessary for that party to be able to support themselves financially. So, nonworking spouses should not count on being awarded permanent spousal support.

Sometimes while married a spouse will open up a checking or savings account in their name only. Therefore, they may think that if they divorce, the funds in that account will automatically belong to them. However, it is possible that one's ex could still receive some of the funds in such an account. This is dependent upon whether the funds in the account were an inheritance, how the funds in the account were earned and whether the couple resides in a community property state like California.

Hopefully, this post has helped to dispel some myths regarding the financial aspects of divorce. However, it is only a general overview of this topic and does not serve as legal advice. For legal advice on these issues, readers may want to contact a family law attorney.

Source:, "4 Myths About Divorce and Money, Debunked," Dan Rafter, July 11, 2017