Child custody is a legal term regarding guardianship, which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent/guardian and a child in that person's care. Like any other complex subject, child custody has its fair share of myths and misconceptions.
Understanding these top myths will help you when in a custody dispute.
CUSTODY MYTH #1- MOM IS ALWAYS FAVORED
A common belief is that the mother will always be favored in court. While this outdated myth has been a common belief for some time, it is not the case.
FACT: The father has the same rights to custody as the mother. As long as both parents are fit and capable of caring for the child, the courts feel it is best for the child to have time with both parents.
CUSTODY MYTH #2- YOU HAVE TO GO TO COURT TO GET CUSTODY:
Often parents think they will be forced to go to court to settle a custody dispute.
FACT: Negotiating custody with the other parent can be difficult. While Court is an option if you and your child’s other parent disagree, it does not have to be the case. When a disagreement comes up, a mediator is often used to assist the parents in working though their disagreements and avoiding a Court Trial.
CUSTODY MYTH #3- CHILD SUPPORT
A misconception many people have is that the mom or custodial parent always gets child support.
FACT: Child support is determined by many different factors. This includes: the parent’s annual earnings, who provides the child with health insurance, and other fees related to raising a child. The court will ensure that both parents can equally financially support the child.
CUSTODY MYTH #4- MY OLDER CHILD CAN CHOOSE WHAT PARENT TO LIVE WITH
My child is 14, now they can pick what parent to live with.
FACT: Just because your child is more mature does not mean that they can decide where to live. Anyone under the age of 18 is still considered a minor and will have to follow a custody order that is put in place. They may be more lenient in allowing the child to voice their opinion, but at the end of the day, the court must do what is in the best interest of the children.
These are only a few of the myths relating to child custody. Unfortunately, there are many more. The only way to separate the myths from the reality and get a plan that will work for you and your family is to retain the services of an experienced Family Law attorney.
Goosmann Law firm has an experienced legal team that may assist with any of your family law needs.