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Top 8 Myths About Divorce

1. Second marriages tend to be more successful than first marriages.

In fact, the divorce rate of remarriages is higher than of first marriages.

2. Typically, men initiate the divorce process.

More than 65% of divorces are initiated by women. Several indications may contribute to this fact. Men are generally happier in marriage than women, they report less dissatisfaction, and frustration, and are less likely to consider divorce as an option.

3. In a custody decision, a child is better off with a step family than in a single-parent home.
Common interpersonal conflicts between step parents and children, paired with the higher risk of divorce in remarriage, suggest that there is no improvement in the situation for children with step families over a single parent home. This myth likely stems from fact that income levels tend to be higher and a two parent environment exists with a step family.

4. Children of parents that don’t get along are better off if the parents divorce.
Studies have shown that this is only true in homes with a high instance of conflict, such as abuse, infidelity, or substance abuse. Typically the situation of children is much worse after a divorce than in a household where the parents don’t get along, but with a low instance of conflict.

5. Most men are unfaithful.
The most accurate studies on this matter conclude, collectively, that only 20% of men have been unfaithful to their wives.

6. If property division can’t be agreed upon, a judge will order sale of all property and subsequent division of the proceeds.

This is typically the position of the spouse who wants a particular division of assets, with which the other spouse does not agree. For instance, if one spouse wants possession of a home, that is marital property, and there are sufficient assets to support an equitable distribution for the other spouse, then the judge is unlikely to order the sale of the house.

7. Living together reduces the likelihood of divorce.

Couples who live together before marriage have much higher incidence of divorce. This fact is not well understood, but may have to do with an image generated by cohabitation that the relationship is temporary.

8. Having a child will help improve a couple’s satisfaction, therefore reducing the chance of divorce.

The most stressful time in a marriage is after the birth of the first child. Couples who have a child have only a slightly lower chance of divorce compared to those couples who do not have children. In situations where the couple is having trouble before planning to have a child, the chance of divorce and the ensuing child custody issues are very high.