There are a lot of myths surrounding child custody. If you find yourself in a custody battle with your ex-partner, it's important to be able to differentiate the facts from the myths. Read on to learn about four common custody myths and the truths behind them.
Myth #1: The Mother Is Usually Awarded Sole Custody
While it was once believed that only a mother could provide children with the care they needed on a daily basis, the majority of states now recognize that gender doesn't automatically make you a better custodial option for your children.
Courts now consider a few things when determining who will gain sole custody, and that includes: Who's the primary caretaker, who's the child bonded to more, and which parent is more likely to foster a positive relationship between their child and the other parent. While the majority of children are still placed with their mother's, it has nothing to do with their gender, and everything to do with the above mentioned considerations.
Myth #2: There are Certain Things I Can Do to Ensure I Get Custody
If you wish to take a more active role in your child's life now that custody is at stake, it may be too late.
While judges will look favorably upon parents who are trying their hardest to do what's best for their child, what's best may not include sole custody. In some cases, you may have to accept your role as non-custodial parent. While this can be a difficult pill to swallow, rulings are usually in the best interest of the child. The judge in your case has considered all sides, so their ruling should not be taken lightly.
Myth #3: If the Other Parent Is Behind on Child Support, I Don't Have to Allow Visitation
It's important to remember that the majority of child custody and visitation laws are based on what's best for the child. When it comes to visitation, for the majority of child custody cases, it's in the best interests of the child that they have regular contact with the non-custodial parent, no matter that parent's financial support.
While it can be frustrating as the custodial parent to support all of their needs financially, it's never okay to go against the court's ruling and cut off visitation with the non-custodial parent. Not only can this be detrimental to your child's relationship with their other parent, but it's also against the law.
Myth #4: My Child's Wishes Will Always Be Taken Into Account
While an older child's wishes may be considered by a judge, it is not required that they be honored.
There's a lot of consideration that goes into a custody determination. If shared custody is off the table for one reason or another, the judge must consider which parent can better financially, emotionally, physically, and mentally care for the child in question. While a child may prefer to live with one parent over another, that parent may not have the means to do so.
Divorce and custody are never easy cases. If you find yourself amid a child custody investigation, there's no doubt you've heard (and maybe even believe) a few of the myths listed above. Now that you know the truth, you're better equipped to understand the process and your odds of receiving sole custody.