Family law cases are rarely straightforward and often confusing due to their complex and highly-detailed nature. This has led to a number of myths and misconceptions being developed regarding divorces, and likewise a number of surprised people when they find out that what they believed to be true is not actually the case.

In this blog, we take a look at some of three of these common myths and set the record straight on what the law actually says.

1.) Couples Who Live Together For a Long Time are Considered Married

California does not recognize “common law” marriages. Therefore, regardless of how long a couple has lived together in California, they are not considered to be spouses unless they legally marry or enter into a recognized Domestic Partnership. This is vitally important for asset division cases, as spouses have far more rights than live-in partners.  There is one exception to this rule: couples who move to California from a state that does recognize common law marriage are considered to be spouses by California’s courts so long as they met the requirements for common law marriage in their original state before moving.

2.) “Pre-Nup” Agreements are Binding and Lopsided to Protect One Spouse

While it is true that premarital agreements are frequently used when one or both spouses are entering into a marriage with significant assets to their name, they are not designed to strip either party of their rights in the event of a divorce. A properly-created agreement is designed to protect the best interests of both spouses in the event they decide they don’t want to remain married.  Agreements that are terribly lopsided were likely not drafted properly and can be very difficult to hold up in court, particularly if the spouse on the short end retains the assistance of a family law lawyer.

3.) One Parent Can Deny Custody if Child Support is Not Paid

Courts treat child custody and child support as two entirely separate issues. Therefore even if one parent fails to pay their child support and/or alimony for the month, the other parent legally cannot deny visitation. Violating either one of these parts of a divorce agreement can lead to significant legal consequences if the issue is brought to family court.

If you need the assistance of a San Diego family lawyer, the experienced team at Fair Cadora, APC may be able to help you. Our dedicated team has represented clients all around the San Diego metropolitan area with numerous family law needs. We can provide you with compassionate and understanding representation in this time of stress, confusion, and emotional turmoil. Trust your issue to Fair Cadora and rest assured that your case is in the capable hands of attorneys who have Board Certification as Family Law Specialists by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.