Myths and misconceptions about divorce are everywhere, from the television you watch to the stories you hear from friends and family. You may even believe these myths. However, the truth is often more complicated.

1. Women always get the kids.

It’s a common story in media. The kids go with mom, and dad ends up paying child support and seeing his kids only occasionally. This isn’t necessarily the case, though. The court will try to do what is best for your children, and while that may involve giving sole custody to one parent it could also involve a joint custody arrangement.

2. Men will always pay alimony or child support.

Concern about your post-divorce finances is natural, and the prospect of paying alimony or child support can be daunting. Many believe that wives will automatically receive alimony or child support. However, both payments depend on what is considered fair in your situation.

If one of you spent time away from work or school to take care of the kids or if you have significantly different incomes, you may pay alimony. Likewise, if your child has significant medical needs, if one parent has a higher income than the other or if one parent has more custody time than the other, you may pay child support based on these and other factors. These payments can be paid by either spouse and can be modified if your situation changes.

3. If someone was unfaithful, they will lose everything.

While cheating is a common reason for divorce, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the unfaithful spouse will end up without the assets they need. If they spent large amounts of money from a joint account to fund their affair or give extravagant gifts to their lover, though, that expense will be considered in the division of property.

4. Divorce is always expensive and combative.

Every divorce is unique, and there are options like mediation available to you that can manage the costs of your divorce and the stress of fighting it out with your spouse in court. Your attorney can help you explore the ways that you can enter the next stage of your life with your finances in order.