Divorce is never easy, but a surplus of myths surrounding divorce can make it even more difficult. These myths can prevent you from protecting yourself and your needs. It’s easy to come across misinformation that is misleading and harmful. Identifying the truth about divorce is essential for making the process as pain-free as possible. Here are five of the most common myths about going through a divorce.

1. You Have To Go To Court.

Many people think that the only way to get a divorce is through a court hearing. Instead, there are methods such as arbitration or mediation that can prevent you from needing to go to court. These methods can help your divorce feel less like a business transaction or a lawsuit. As long as both parties are cooperative and civil, it is highly possible to avoid going to court.

2. Divorce Attorneys are All The Same.

Some people believe that all divorce attorneys are the same, or that they do not need to hire one in order to get a divorce. While the latter is sometimes true, obtaining the advice of an experienced divorce attorney is highly encouraged. Not all divorce attorneys are created equal. Attorneys vary based on their approach to divorce and their demeanor. Choose a divorce attorney that can comfortably assist you with your specific needs. Choose an attorney that puts your mind at ease about the divorce process.

3. Mothers are Always Awarded Custody of Their Children.

 Contrary to popular belief, custody is not automatically awarded to the mother. Statistically, the mother is awarded custody more often, but it is not an automatic process. Today, it is common for both parents to be awarded custody of their children. Decisions about custody are made based on what is best for the child and have nothing to do with gender.

3. All Divorces are Long and Expensive.

Most people think of divorce as being drawn-out and financially devastating. This can deter couples from ever seeking a divorce. Fortunately, divorce does not always have to be this way. Obtaining pre-paid legal insurance is a great way to keep costs low. Utilizing mediation will also lower costs in addition to shortening the length of time a divorce takes.

5. All Ex-Wives are Eligible for Alimony.

Not all divorces involve alimony. In reality, alimony can often be a difficult thing to obtain. Alimony will be awarded based on the amount of time a spouse has been out of the workforce. The myth that all women will receive alimony comes from the idea that women are often out of the workforce for many years due to child-rearing. Alimony is decided on a case-by-case basis and is not rewarded automatically.

Misconceptions about divorce can add unnecessary stress to an already taxing situation. These myths can be harmful when it comes to the choices you make surrounding yourself, your spouse, and your family. Debunking these myths is crucial for keeping a level head during the divorce process.