Debunking Three Common Myths About Men and Divorce

shutterstock_1935621667-minDuring the 1970s, the introduction of no-fault divorce laws in the United States made it much easier to get divorced and divorce rates subsequently skyrocketed. For many people, this was an unalloyed good; getting out of difficult or abusive marriages became much easier. But for decades, divorce laws definitively favored the mother when children were involved. Mothers often automatically received full custody and fathers had to fight an uphill battle in court to gain access to their children. 

Today, divorce laws in Illinois are gender neutral and it is much easier for men to have shared parenting time and parental responsibilities. Nevertheless, myths about men in divorce persist. If you are a man seeking father’s rights in Illinois, here are three common myths and the truth about them.

Myth One: Wives Are Always Awarded Spousal Maintenance

In the past, men traditionally earned all or most of a household’s income. Because women were frequently homemakers with little education or income of their own, spousal maintenance (previously known as alimony) was nearly ubiquitous. Today, however, Illinois spousal maintenance laws are written to consider both spouses’ education and incomes, and Illinois family courts are more concerned with fairness and facts than tradition.

Myth Two: If a Father Does Not Pay Child Support, He Cannot See His Children

Children need financial support from both parents, and child support orders are legally binding. There are serious consequences for not paying child support on time and in full. However, fathers are never prohibited from seeing their children only because they have not met their child support obligations. Illinois law separates child custody and child support, and parents who cannot afford their child support payments can petition for a modification in court.

Myth Three: Mothers Automatically Get Full Custody

Now divided between parenting time and parental responsibilities, in the past “custody” was commonly awarded mostly or entirely to mothers. Today, however, Illinois law recognizes how crucial fathers are to a child’s healthy emotional development. Family courts will consider the best interests of the child before anything else, and this nearly always means having a close relationship with both parents.

Call an Arlington Heights Father’s Rights Divorce Attorney

At Cosley Law Office, we know how important it is for men to have relationships with their children. We also understand the many challenges men face when trying to obtain parental responsibilities and parenting time. If you are a father getting divorced in Illinois, consider scheduling a free consultation with an Arlington Heights, IL father’s rights lawyer to learn more about how we can help you. Call us today at 847-253-3100.


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