Common Myths About Child Custody Disputes

Posted on: 21 October 2021

One of the major issues during a divorce is child custody. When issuing a child custody order, the court's decision is based on the child's best interest. Hiring a child custody attorney can help improve your chances of getting a fair child support ruling. However, it's vital to familiarize yourself with the common myths regarding child custody disputes.

The Parent Who Files a Divorce Forfeits Their Custody Rights

Many people believe that the parent who makes the move to end the marriage will most likely lose their right to child custody. The law allows each parent the right to participate in their children's lives, including spending time with them. Where this isn't achievable, the court will assign joint custody. This is where each parent lives with the child on alternative weeks or days. 

The court may also assign joint legal custody to allow each parent to take part in important decisions regarding their children's health care, schooling, and religious upbringing. Your child custody attorney will help you get the best custody arrangement.

Children Have No Influence Over the Court's Ruling

When ruling on child custody, the courts usually consider the child's wishes. The court is careful not to cause children to pick a favorite parent. Therefore, in many cases, the court will keep the children out of the courtroom and investigate their wishes by reviewing a family report.

A family report is generated when a psychologist or child expert talks to children about their parents. The psychologist will also converse with the parents to get a perspective about their children. The expert will then provide a family report outlining their recommendations. 

In many cases, the expert's opinion doesn't necessarily reflect what the child says but what they interpret to be in the child's best interest. Your child support lawyer will argue against a family report if it's biased and doesn't reflect the child's wishes. 

The Custodial Parent Can Stop Visitation If Child Support Isn't Paid

Many people believe that a custodial parent can stop visitation on their own initiative if the other parent isn't current with their child support payments. The courts frown upon such behavior in a divorce setting.

The custodial parent has no right to stop parenting time without a court order. If the other parent defaults on child support payments, you should ask your child custody lawyer to file a separate claim in court addressing the same. Otherwise, a noncustodial parent who has fallen behind in their child support payments has the right to continue with their parenting time unless a judge rules against it.

For more information about child custody, contact a family law attorney in your area.