Many times unfortunately, clients have developed false beliefs about divorce and family law matters which may often emanate from the other spouse’s desire to intimidate, control or bully in order to control a divorce or other family situation.  When clients are interviewed at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. during fact gathering processes and other conversations, if it becomes clear that our client possesses some of these false beliefs, we work hard to make sure every client understands what is true and what is not true.  Often, just this small proactive attention to client concerns makes a big difference in how that client feels, and our client being comforted, educated and relieved is very important to us.  Here is our list of the most common divorce and family law myths we hear from clients…

  1. “I’ll quit my job before I pay you that much support.”Not likely. This is usually an attempt to bluff the other spouse into agreeing to a lower support amount than the law would provide for.
  2. “It doesn’t make sense for us to be paying two lawyers; it’s just a waste of money that we could otherwise keep. Let’s just both use mine.”Aside from the obvious conflict of interest here, the spouse making this plea wants to control you and the process by controlling how much advice and information you get.
  3. You have no right to take what’s mine away from me.”Usually refers to a pension or other retirement asset earned by the complaining spouse. The error is that it’s not just his/hers: earned during the marriage, it belongs to both spouses asNew York views the marital relationship as an “economic partnership.”
  4. “I’m taking the children to North Carolina (or Texas, or some other place) and filing the case there.” If the other parent makes this threat, and actually does move without your permission, it’s time to get into Court quickly to start an action or if the parent has already actually acted upon the threat and moved out of New York State, obtain an Order for the fleeing parent to bring the children back to New York.
  5. “You’ll never see the children again.”Usually an attempt to bully and scare the other spouse to stay in the relationship. New York law presumes frequent and continuing contact with both parents is in the best interest of the children, so this is seldom a legitimate threat.
  6. “Your attorney is just running up your bill with all these documents he’s demanding that I provide. Call him off.”Any divorce/family law attorney is going to need to see documents which relate to your and your spouse’s financial situation. Otherwise, the attorney can’t advise you on what you should expect or demand. Statements such as the above from one spouse to the other often indicates that the spouse with the documents has something to hide. Often, this self serving “advice” is made by a spouse who is self employed.
  7. “You didn’t work a day during our marriage, just stayed home and took care of the kids. Hell will freeze over before you get a dime of my retirement.”Usually it’s a husband who makes this threat, since stay-at-home moms still outnumber stay-at-home dads (about 4-1). A spouse making this threat has no power to make carry out the threat. Court Orders are obtained so that the pension plan or other retirement plan administrator pays the “non-titled” spouse directly without the “titled” spouse having any control over the payments.
  8. 8. “I’ll go to jail before I pay support to you.”Jail time is among several tools the judge has available to enforce a support order, but it’s seldom necessary. This is a common bluff. For anyone with a paycheck, it’s easy enough to extract support involuntarily, but most people just pay it.  There are services and mechanisms available inNew York for the recipients of support payments that work to insure all payments are received on a timely basis.
  9. “I’ll only pay support if I know the money is going to the children. I want receipts for everything you spend that child support check on.”New York law does not require the supported parent/spouse to account to the other for how the money is spent. Period.  This is a long standing premise under New York support laws.
  10. “If the court finds out how you’ve behaved, you’ll never see the children.”i.e., “back off or the mud slinging begins.” Supreme or Family Court judges aren’t outraged by a lot of things your spouse thinks are outrageous: your promiscuity as a teenager, a several-years-past drug habit, infidelity, moderate drinking, etc. These are things which the judge realizes don’t reflect poorly on your parenting qualifications, so he/she doesn’t take them seriously.  Self serving attacks by one spouse against the other are unfortunately, common in divorce and family law cases and often, the judge will take adverse inferences against the parent who tries to use such a tactic in court against the other parent.
  11. “We’ll do this like I say, or else…?”This myth is usually capped off with a threat of withholding money in the form of support and, sometimes, less frequently, a veiled or a direct threat of harm. The law exists to ensure justice and fairness as between adversaries of unequal strength, funding and sophistication. The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. works diligently for our clients to see that the law is applied to our clients’ best advantage. This process works. Let it work for you.
  12. “I’ll litigate you into bankruptcy. I’d rather pay my lawyer than yours so don’t expect me to compromise on anything.”It is true, many spouses threaten this hoping that the other spouse will give up and run. While this is unfortunate that people use such tactics, there are legal techniques to stop the spouse from going forward with this threat. The court can sanction a delaying spouse employing these tactics, making them pay your attorneys fees.

Divorce and family law cases are controlled by LAW and not MYTHS!  The Pollack Law Firm, P.C. will bring clarity and focus to your case, make sure that you know what your case is about and where it stands at all times and work with you in order to insure that you do not concern yourself with these “myths” and other nonsense which is UNTRUE!

The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., serving clients in Nassau and Suffolk County, is always available to assist and represent parties in divorce and all other matrimonial and family law matters. Please call today to schedule a free consultation: (516) 938-3330.

By Robert B. Pollack, Esq., principal attorney at The Pollack Law Firm, P.C.: Our firm is solely focused on Nassau and Suffolk County divorce, separation and all phases of matrimonial law, family law and mediation—

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended to provide only general information for entertainment purposes and should never be relied upon as legal advice.  One should seek the assistance of experienced matrimonial counsel to assist in explaining the law, options and making important decisions in any divorce, matrimonial or any family law matter.  By reading this article, no attorney/client relationship arises in any manner whatsoever.

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