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Researchers estimate that approximately 40-50% of all first marriages in the U.S. will end in divorce. Many people may believe that divorce is the only issue in family law, but the truth is that there are many different areas of this field that most people don’t consider.

Whether you’re looking for divorce attorneys or simply curious about what the world of family law entails, here are a few of the most common misconceptions about this field of law.

Divorce/separation petitions automatically mean you’re legally divorced.
While it’s nice to think that a simple petition finalizes your divorce, it’s simply not true. Divorce takes time and mediation. In addition, custody lawyers often have to get involved to ensure child custody proceedings go as planned. A couple isn’t legally separated or divorced until the Court enters an order establishing a specific date of separation.

Domestic violence claims require physical violence.
Absolutely not. Domestic violence comes in many different forms, and many of them don’t involve any physical violence at all. Some other forms of domestic violence include harassment, stalking, emotional abuse, and threats of violence. There is no singular definition of domestic abuse.

Cohabitation without marriage means no financial obligations.
While this is a common misconception, it’s actually a very harmful one. People who are otherwise very financially successful may end up in serious financial trouble if they don’t abide by the laws of common-law marriage.

Prenuptial agreements can waive child support obligations.
A prenuptial agreement can do many things, but it absolutely cannot solve child custody issues or waive child support requirements. The provisions in a prenuptial agreement abridge the court’s ability to create orders with regard to child support. If the agreement doesn’t contain specific information regarding this issue, it could be deemed completely void during divorce proceedings.

Divorce can be a messy, exhausting, and long process, but it’s not the only thing that falls into the field of family law. Every day, these lawyers must help spouses and families find solutions to serious issues that you may not have even thought about before. Don’t hesitate to learn more about the vast world of family law.