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Navigating a divorce can be tricky for practically anyone. Several factors, such as emotional turmoil, financial challenges, co-parenting dynamics and social stigma, can contribute to the inherent difficulties associated with divorce.

Common misconceptions can make a divorce in Maryland harder than it has to be, too.

1. Equitable distribution means equal division

One misconception revolves around the term “equitable distribution.” Maryland follows the principle of equitable distribution, which does not necessarily translate to a 50/50 split of assets. Instead, the court aims to divide marital property fairly, considering various factors such as each spouse’s contributions, financial circumstances and future needs.

2. Custody decisions favor mothers

A widely held misconception is that custody decisions inherently favor mothers. Maryland family law emphasizes the best interests of the child when determining custody arrangements. Factors such as each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, involvement in the child’s life and overall parenting capabilities come into play. The court strives to create a custody arrangement that promotes the child’s well-being without automatically favoring one parent over the other based on gender.

3. Alimony is a sure thing

Maryland has 2.4 divorces per 1,000 people, and some divorcing individuals may assume that alimony is an automatic entitlement. However, alimony is not guaranteed in Maryland, and its award depends on various factors, including the duration of the marriage, each spouse’s financial situation and their respective contributions. Courts carefully assess the need for alimony, and it is not a one-size-fits-all arrangement.

Divorcing individuals in Maryland should be aware of these common misconceptions to make informed decisions during the divorce process.