People who are going through their first divorce never quite know exactly what to expect. We may know others who have gone through the process, but every divorce is different and there are many types of challenges that may arise.
There are a number of myths and misconceptions surrounding the divorce process that may make individuals even more anxious than they already would be. Here are a few of those myths:
- Visitation can be denied. Just because a former partner falls behind on child support payments does not mean he or she may be denied visitation access. Visitation and child support are entirely separate issues.
- Divorce itself can be denied. Although you do need to file a divorce petition with a judge, the judge cannot deny your request. There are certain steps you will have to go through, but if you want a divorce, you will most likely get it.
- Mothers always get custody. While it is true that more mothers get primary custody than fathers, this is not because of any inherent bias in the law. The judge will give custody to whichever parent is deemed more fit to have full or primary custody of the children.
- Child support may be avoided. Every child has a right to financial support. You cannot avoid this responsibility, and attempting to do so could land you in serious legal and financial trouble.
- Adultery drastically affects a divorce outcome. Although cheating on a spouse could lead to the divorce happening in the first place, it does not mean you are more likely to lose out during the division of marital assets and property.
- Assets will be split down the middle. Assets are split equitably — not necessarily equally. There are many factors judges consider when it comes to dividing property, and in this case, “fair” is not necessarily “equal.”
Annulment: When is it an Option?
Just like a divorce, a civil annulment ends a marriage. However, the effect of an annulment is that the law will not recognize the marriage as ever having existed.
It is not easy to get an annulment. Your marriage can only be annulled on certain grounds, such as:
- One spouse was not of sound mind at the commencement of the marriage and was thereby unable to give consent due to mental impairment or the influence of alcohol or drugs
- One spouse was forced into the marriage against his or her will, whether by threat of physical force or some form of extortion or coercion
- One spouse made fraudulent statements, without which the other spouse would not have agreed to marry that person
- One spouse had a physical impairment unknown to the other spouse that prevented the couple from being able to consummate the marriage
- The marriage itself was illegal and automatically invalid for reasons such as bigamy, one spouse being under the age of consent or the marriage being incestuous
Advantages and disadvantages of annulment
Before you consider seeking an annulment, it is important to consider the pros and cons of doing so.
In terms of advantages, the law will treat the marriage as though it never existed, which means you will not have to worry about issues such as property division. If children are involved, the court will still have to consider support and custody arrangements, as annulments do not affect whether children born during the marriage are considered legitimate.
The major disadvantage of an annulment is that proving you have the grounds for one can be difficult and expensive. You must be able to prove, without question, that one of the above grounds existed at the time of the wedding, which could take some significant investigation and court time. There are also time limits on annulments, meaning your opportunity may have passed.
Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer in Utah
If you have a question about divorce law or if you need to start or defend against a divorce case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will fight for you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506