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Breaking down 5 divorce myths

Divorce has grown more common over the past few decades, and that trend has also spawned a number of serious myths about the process.

Maybe you and your spouse are considering divorce, and you have heard all sorts of "facts" from your co-workers whenever you bring it up. They tell you things you can barely believe. What is safe to discount? How do you separate fact from fiction before entering into divorce yourself?

To help, here are five of the most common myths:

1. The odds of divorce drop if you live together first

Many couples use cohabitation as a sort of trial run. If you live together for a year and it is a disaster, at least you can break up without having to go through a real divorce. While this may work in some cases, studies keep finding that living together first makes divorce more likely. You may spend years living together, decide that marriage is what you want, and still get divorced.

2. The third (or second) time's a charm

Some people assume that a failed first marriage taught them a lot, both about themselves and their potential partners. When they get married a second time -- or a third -- they assume they have made a better decision and won't get divorced. However, the statistics reveal that second and third marriages fail at an even higher rate than first marriages.

3. Having children can save a marriage

Some couples try to avoid divorce by having children together. They believe that the problem with the relationship is that they do not have a full family, something they may always have dreamed of. This typically does not save a marriage, though, and it really just makes the eventual divorce that much more complicated.

4. Men ask for divorce more often than women

It is actually the other way around. Studies have found that about two out of every three divorces start with wives asking their husbands for divorce. The reasons for this vary, but it suggests that men may be more willing to stay in an unhappy relationship than women.

5. Happy marriages are always happy

This is not true. In the vast majority of marriages, the relationship goes through good and bad times, ups and downs. Sometimes, the down periods do lead to divorce. Other times they do not. But do not make the mistake of thinking that married couples always stay happy or that divorced couples never had any good times. Every relationship is unique.

If you and your spouse do continue on with your divorce, make sure you know how to break down the common myths and really learn about all of your rights.

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