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Fact or fiction: debunking child custody myths

In these digital days, many folks confidently spread misinformation. But when it comes to child custody and a Pennsylvania divorce, rules apply.

To that end, let’s debunk three family law myths that regularly bounce around social media.

Kids wishes aren’t considered if they’re under 14

Under Pennsylvania’s family law statutes, the judge ultimately has the final say in child custody cases. However, the bench considers minors’ preferences when weighing all factors. The older the child, the more weight the judge gives their wishes.

Divorce significantly impacts children’s lives, and families are urged to make the transition as easy as possible. While it’s not ideal to stay in a toxic relationship for the children’s sake, it’s vital to ensure they don’t get sandwiched in the center of a custody battle.

Child support and visitation rights are linked

Did someone tell you that parents cannot see their children if they miss child support payments? Fundamentally, this isn’t true. Pennsylvania family courts don’t link payment with visitation.

In other words, parents can see their children even if they miss payments. Conversely, if the paying parent misses visitations, they still need to pay support.

While this is the general rule, every couple’s settlement agreement differs. Some may include provisions wherein support and custody status depend on other variables.

If a parent uses drugs they’ll automatically lose custody

Family courts don’t look kindly on drug use. However, they don’t automatically strip visitation on account of it either.

For starters, there must be proof. Hearsay won’t get you far with judges. Moreover, the alleged drug use must be dangerous enough to warrant a change in custody.

Divorce is fiery. Throwing misinformation on the flames can ignite the situation even further. So before jumping to conclusions after reading a single post, do the research and dig for the correct answers.