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Five Myths About Child Custody

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Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally taxing process to navigate. Understanding what to expect during divorce can help ease a bit of this confusion and heartache. At the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro, we are committed to helping you navigate your case with confidence so that you get the results you and your family deserve.

Moving through a divorce is already complicated. Don’t let misconceptions make divorce proceedings confuse you further. If you and your spouse are going through a separation or divorce, it’s essential to understand what goes into child custody negotiations and agreements. Read on as we dispel these commonly held myths about child custody.

Moms Are the Favored Choice for Parental Custody

The belief has long been held that moms are the favored choice when it comes to a child’s custodial parent. This myth stems from a decades-long tradition that mothers are the primary homemaker and caretakers of children, so after a divorce, kids naturally stay with their mom. Nowadays, that reality is no longer the norm. Following a divorce, both parents can plead their case as to why they should be the custodial parent.

Courts decide custody based on what is in the best interest of the child. If a father can provide an adequate environment to what the child is accustomed to and can be available both time-wise and financially, a father can be designated the primary custodial parent.

According to recent census data, roughly 35% of fathers are custodial parents, but over 51% of parents going through a divorce are in agreement that the mother should be the custodial parent. Additionally, the number of fathers being granted custodial parent is rising year over year.

Determining Custody Must Be Litigated in Court

It’s a common misconception that all custody cases go through the court system to be resolved. In fact, a majority of cases do not go to trial and are instead settled between the parties.

Settling a disagreement about a child’s custody outside of court is not only helpful to the parents going through the process, but it’s also beneficial to the child. Parents should be able to cordially discuss the events that will unfold after a divorce without the need for court intervention. Being able to do so helps ensure that the child will have a successful future as the divorce unfolds.

The Custodial Parent Can Relocate With Their Kids

Although a custodial parent has certain rights, being able to move with their children whenever they want wherever they want is not one of those rights. All custody agreements should detail what happens in the event one parent wants to move. The primary parent who wants to move, whether it’s in-state or out-of-state, must seek the approval of the other parent or the court.

Whether you have a custody agreement drawn up through a settlement or an agreement ordered by the court, it’s important to adhere to your custody agreement and not violate its terms, as doing so could negatively impact your parental rights. It’s important to have a well-written custody agreement that outlines where parents can and cannot relocate. Working with an experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the nuances of a custody agreement.

The Custodial Parent Will Always Receive Financial Support

While it’s true in most cases that the custodial parent will receive financial support from the other parent, this is not always the case. If the primary custodial parent earns significantly more than the other parent, they might not be eligible to receive child support. In fact, the custodial parent might actually be required to pay alimony to the other parent.

Children Can Pick Who They Want to Live With

The most important thing during a divorce is ensuring that a child is in the least disruptive environment. There’s a common misconception that children get to choose who they want to live with following a divorce. While a child’s input can be considered, children do not get to make the choice, even if they are old enough to understand the circumstances.

During a custody dispute, children are represented by a lawyer of their own called a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is an attorney working on behalf of the child to ensure that the child is put in the best environment possible.

When to Speak With a Divorce Lawyer

If you are navigating a divorce but are concerned about how a custody agreement will impact your child, it’s important to speak with an experienced divorce attorney you can count on.

At the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro, we are committed to representing you and the best interest of your child. If you have questions about divorce proceedings and custody agreements, reach out to our team today for a consultation on your case.

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