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4 Common Child Custody Myths

When it comes to family law matters that often intersect with divorce, few are more complicated and as full of misinformation as child custody.

For obvious reasons, people may try to seek out all of the information they can to learn more about child custody and how they can make sure they’ll always be a part of their children’s lives. There’s a great volume of information out there about this topic, but unfortunately, that also includes many myths and misconceptions about child custody.

Below, we’ll address four of the most common child custody myths we see repeated both on the Internet and by well-meaning clients who want to protect their children. We hope that by addressing these upfront, we can help those involved in child custody disputes better understand this difficult legal process.

Myth 1: Child Custody Is About the Parents’ Interests

If you are going through a divorce, a lot of issues are evaluated based upon your interests versus your spouse’s. Two main issues that are decided in this manner are equitable division and alimony. Because of this, people often regard child custody (and child support, for that matter) in a similar light.

In reality, child custody and child support aren’t decided according to either parent’s interests. As with many issues involving children, the child’s best interests are the court’s foremost concern.

This means that parents who argue they have a right to full custody by virtue of being a child’s parent probably won’t succeed unless they can prove that having full custody is particularly advantageous to their child’s interests.

Myth 2: The Courts Prefer Mothers for Physical Custody

The courts are barred from basing any findings or rulings on either party’s sex, so it’s a myth that the courts are inclined to award custody to mothers.

Again, the courts decide custody based upon a child’s best interests. If one parent works around the clock and isn’t home very much to provide childcare, the other parent who doesn’t have such a hectic work schedule may be seen as the parent who can provide more effective childcare on a day-to-day basis.

Myth 3: I Can Withhold Custody/Visitation If They Withhold Child Support

A particularly problematic myth is that parents, who don’t receive child support payments when they should, can withhold custody or visitation from the non-paying parent. This is problematic because withholding a child in violation of a custody agreement can result in contempt of court criminal charges.

If your child’s other parent isn’t paying child support, report it through the proper channels, but don’t try to take matters into your own hands. Doing so can result in worse consequences than you may anticipate.

Myth 4: I Have Physical Custody, So I Can Move Whenever & Wherever I Want with My Child

It’s true that parents with physical custody get to decide where their children will live, but there’s an extent to that privilege. When under an existing child custody agreement, the custodial parent can move with their child only as far as 50 miles from their current residence without formal permission.

A farther move requires consent from the other parent and/or the court’s approval. When a larger move is desired, the non-custodial parent and court must be informed well in advance of the intended move. The non-custodial parent will have the opportunity to protest the move, and the court will decide the matter.

Do You Need Legal Help?

If you’re in need of legal assistance for child custody or a related matter, you can count on Krusch Divorce Resolution for the support you need. Our attorneys can listen to your concerns and create dynamic legal solutions that address those concerns and your goals for the future.

Learn more during a consultation. Contact us online now to request one today.