Half of the adults we know are most likely divorced. That's a lot of sources for information. And while your nail tech or barber may have some insights into the process, chances are they do not have a fully reliable bank of actual legal information.
While there are many myths about divorce floating around out there, here are five of the most commonly held notions, along with whether or not it is actually true.
1. If you commit adultery you get less or nothing in the divorce settlement.
This is patently not true. However, if you recklessly squander the joint assets you may get less.
2. You get to keep your own personal property and collections.
Again. Not true. In a divorce, especially a high asset divorce, almost everything is divisible. Even your baseball card collection and the pink Mercedes.
3. You should buy big items before you file.
This is pretty much true. An attorney can offer more details as to what to buy and what not to buy.
4. Your house is your biggest asset.
Not true in most cases. Usually an IRA or pension will end up being worth more than the house.
5. You don't pay taxes on what you give away.
If only! If you purchase stock at $25 a share and it goes up to $35 a share, you could be held liable for the taxes on that $10 increase. On a thousand shares or more, that can end up to be a lot of cash.
Bonus myth: The more you pay for your attorney, the better the attorney is.
We are conditioned to believe that we get what we pay for. While this may be true for some items and services, it is not always true for legal representation. When searching for the best representation for your divorce, there are three factors you should consider: experience, knowledge and whether or not the attorney "gets" you. The best fit is usually the best bet.
Source: ireport.cnn.com, "Top 10 Mistakes In High Net Worth Divorces," Joey Battah, Jan. 10, 2014.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, "12 Top Divorce Myths," Daniel Clement, May 25, 2017.