Historically speaking, the decisions made in a divorce case largely favored the woman. When spousal maintenance, or alimony, was awarded, the woman was usually the recipient. Family courts were also more likely to award the woman in a divorce case child custody, believing it was in the best interests of the child to stay with their mother. These patterns in history have led many men to believe they are already at a disadvantage before their divorce case even starts, but that is not the case.
Today in Illinois, family law judges only consider what is fair when making decisions on a divorce case. Gender is no longer a part of the decision-making process. Still, many myths surrounding men and divorce still abound in the state today. Below are the most common myths many people still believe, and the truth behind them.
Women Are Always Awarded Child Custody
The idea that women are always awarded child custody is perhaps the biggest myth involving men and divorce. At one time, this was true but today, the family court will only evaluate what is in the best interests of the child and they will make their decision based on that. Like other decisions made in a divorce case, gender is not taken into consideration when judges award one parent child custody.
Men Cannot See Their Child if They Fail to Pay Child Support
Child support orders are legally binding and as such, there are several consequences a mother or father may face when they fail to pay it. However, not being able to see their children is not one of them. Child custody and child support are two different issues and so, custodial parents cannot refuse visitation based on the fact that they did not receive child support.
Any parent that cannot make child support payments should seek a modification from the court to change it to a more affordable amount. Custodial parents that feel their former spouse is not complying with the law should also seek a modification from the court to change the custody order before making any changes on their own.
Women Are Always Awarded Alimony
Traditionally, men were the breadwinners of the household while women stayed home to raise the children. As such, when the couple got a divorce, the woman was often awarded alimony, known as spousal maintenance in Illinois. Today, it is clearly no longer the case that the man goes out to work and the woman stays home. In fact, many women are the main income earner in their household. More and more men are also staying home to take care of the children. Family law judges will consider the income and earning opportunity of each spouse when making alimony decisions. They will never consider a person’s gender.
Call Our Illinois Divorce Lawyers for Sound Legal Advice
Filing for divorce and facing an uncertain future is always scary. The many myths surrounding divorce only add to that fear during an already stressful time. At the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our dedicated DuPage County divorce lawyers can advise on the truths behind these myths, and provide the sound legal advice you need. Call us today at 630-920-8855 or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation.