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Lehighton Estate, Family & Workers’ Comp Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Common Myths About Divorce in Pennsylvania

Common Myths About Divorce in Pennsylvania


Ending a marriage and getting a divorce may seem like a fairly straightforward concept. However, the laws that govern the divorce process are complex and many people are unfamiliar with them. Additionally, many people going through the divorce process have known someone who has been through it before. These individuals may give well-intentioned advice, even when it is not always based in fact. Below, our family law attorney outlines the biggest myths about divorce in Pennsylvania, and the truth behind them.

Assets in Your Name are Not Divided During Divorce 

You may have certain property, such as a retirement account, in your name. Due to the fact that your spouse’s name is not on the property, you may think it is not subject to division. This, unfortunately, is not true. Any property that was acquired during the marriage is divided during divorce. Even if you had the retirement account prior to the marriage, but additional funds accumulated in it while you were married, it is considered a marital asset and will be divided.

You Will Receive Half of the Marital Assets 

Many states in the country are governed by community property rules. In these states, marital property is divided fairly equally, with each side receiving half. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, though. Under equitable distribution laws, marital property is divided fairly, which does not necessarily mean equally.

A Long Relationship Constitutes Common Law, Even if a Couple is Not Married 

Many people believe that if a couple lives together for a long period of time, they are considered to be in a common law marriage. This is not the case. At one time in Pennsylvania, a couple could be considered common law if they presented themselves to others as a married couple. However, even this law was abolished in 2005. Anyone who currently lives in the state and met the requirements before 2005 may be considered common law. Anyone who thought they were entering into a common law marriage after that time are not.

Mothers are Favored in Child Custody Decisions

 At one time, the courts may have favored mothers over fathers in child custody matters. Even then, though, it had nothing to do with gender. Instead, it was due to the fact that mothers often stayed home to raise and care for the children while the father went out to work. Today, this is obviously no longer the case. Many women work today and often, they are even the main breadwinners. It is also not uncommon for fathers to stay home and raise the children. As such, women no longer have the advantage when going into child custody hearings.

Our Divorce Lawyer in Carbon County Can Inform You of the Facts 

When going through a divorce, you should never take the myths you hear as truth. At The Law Office of Kim M. Gillen, P.C., our Carbon County divorce lawyer will advise you of the law and how it applies to your case so you can make the best informed decisions and obtain the settlement you deserve. Call us now at 484-613-0011 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more.



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