When you are going through a family law proceeding such as a divorce, one of the most important decisions you will make is who will have custody of your children. It is important to know the facts about child custody before making any decisions, and that includes dispelling any myths you may have heard.
The mother always gets custody of the children
This is not always the case. In fact, in most states, both parents are typically awarded joint custody unless there is a compelling reason why one parent should have primary custody. Factors that are considered include the parents’ ability to cooperate and make decisions jointly, the children’s relationship with each parent, and the parents’ home environments.
The mother is typically awarded custody in cases where the father is not considered fit to care for the child, such as if he has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. If there is no clearcut choice for who should have custody, the family court judge will usually decide based on the best interests of the child.
Fathers always have to pay child support
While it is true that family law courts usually require noncustodial parents, typically, the father, to make regular payments towards their children’s care and upbringing, these cases are generally decided on a case-by-case basis. If both parents work and share custody of the children equally, such as in a joint custody arrangement, child support may not get awarded at all.
Child support payments are generally determined by the family court judge based on how much each parent earns, how often they spend time with the children, and other factors, such as health insurance costs.
Child custody is a one-time decision
Child custody arrangements can get modified at any time if the family court determines that it is in the best interests of the children to do so. If you have sole or primary custody of your children and are considering remarrying, for example, you might decide to seek joint physical or legal custody with your ex if that is what you think would be best for the family.
There are many factors to take into consideration when making decisions regarding family law, and it is important to know the facts. When it comes to child custody, it is best to have the facts before making any decisions that could potentially impact your children for years to come.