Friends and family mean well, but when it comes to ending your marriage and understanding the process, you should not believe everything you hear. There are numerous myths that do not seem to go away regarding the divorce process here in New Jersey. Below, some of those myths are debunked.

First, your spouse does not have to consent to the divorce here in New Jersey. It can happen even if your spouse refuses to be part of the process. Moreover, state law does not require that the marital assets be divided 50/50. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that property will be divided in a fair and equitable manner. That might not mean equal.

Furthermore, just because an asset or debt is in your name alone does not mean that it is yours after the divorce. Assets that are acquired or accumulated during the marriage are typically subject to division. Men and women may request alimony — it is not based on gender. For that matter, neither is custody of the children. Also, the party responsible for paying child support cannot withhold it regardless of how little visitation time he or she has with the children.

If you begin the process with mistaken impressions, it will make resolving your issues that much more difficult. The goal of the process is to ensure that you have the resources you need in order to begin your new life. Dispelling these and other myths and understanding more about how the divorce process actually works can help you make crucial decisions prior to filing and/or entering into settlement negotiations.