Child custody can be one of the most important aspects of any divorce proceedings. However, individuals are often unaware of the numerous pieces of misinformation that may be coloring their understanding of this topic.
Myth: Children Will Always Have A Say In Who The Court Awards Custody
It can be common for some jurisdictions to have rules that allow for a child to voice a preference as to which parent is awarded custody. However, this does not apply to all jurisdictions, and there are other requirements that must be met. For example, most will have stipulations requiring a child to be of a minimum age to consider their opinion. Furthermore, judges will often have a lot of leniency in determining how much weight to give this preference.
Myth: There Are No Consequences For Violating Custody Rules
Once the court has finalized the custody rules for your divorce, it is important to be mindful of the fact that there can be harsh penalties for violating these orders. In particular, the offending parent could face fines or even have their custody status changed. While it is possible for the parents to make adjustments to the visitation schedule, both parents must agree. Furthermore, it can be best to get this agreement in writing in the event that there is a dispute. If you need a permanent change to the custody plan, your attorney will need to petition the court for a modification of this agreement.
Myth: Income Is The Only Factor That Is Considered When Awarding Custody
Being able to financially support yourself and your children will be a major factor that is reviewed when awarding custody. This can lead to individuals assuming that wealth is always the determining factor in custody disputes. However, there are many other issues that the courts will review. These can include the relationship between the child and the parent, the parent's ability to spend time with the child and other responsibilities that parents will be expected to fulfill.
Myth: A Father Will Never Be Awarded Custody
Many fathers will fail to vigorously fight for their parental rights due to the belief that only mothers will be awarded full custody of children. However, it is increasingly common for fathers that are able to provide stable and loving homes for their children to be awarded custody. As a result, fathers should always speak to an attorney that handles child custody cases so that they can better understand the strength of their case for being awarded custody.