Debunking 4 Popular Child Custody Myths
Child custody can be a contentious issue for divorcing couples, especially if they are unable to reach an amicable agreement. Though there is no obligation to hire legal help, it is highly advisable that the parties involved in a child custody case hire a family law lawyer in Dallas, TX who can represent them in a family court. It is also important for litigants to research about child custody laws and get their facts straight before hiring a family law lawyer. To help take steps in this direction, the post lists some myths about child custody and the corresponding facts. Take a look.
Myth 1 — Mothers Always Get the Custody
There’s no denying the fact that a child requires the warmth and unconditional love of their mother during growth years. To fulfill this need, many courts traditionally awarded custody to the female parent. The trend, however, has changed during the past few years and courts today take into account the child’s best interests when awarding custody. The parent’s sex, therefore, does not play a significant role in deciding who gets the custody and courts consider multiple factors such as the child’s relationship with their parents, the parents’ employment history, and the stability of the home environment offered when determining child custody.
Myth 2 — If a Parent Deserts the Child, the Other Parent Automatically Gets the Custodial Rights
Most state courts recognize both the parents to be the legal guardians of the child. Even if a parent deserts the child, the other parent has to file a child custody case to get the sole legal and physical custody of the child. Same is true in case the location of one of the parent is unknown or if the parent is not traceable.
Myth 3 — The Child can Choose The Parent Who They Want to Stay With
Family courts in most cases take the child’s consent when awarding custody, if the child exhibits the maturity to take important decisions. The judge may even conduct an informal session with the child. The child’s preferences, however, won’t always play a major role in influencing the result and the court will conduct interactive sessions with the child only if it deems necessary.
Myth 4 — Failure to Pay Child Support Can be a Ground for Denying Visitation
There are many reasons for courts to deny visitation rights to a parent. Some of the most common ones include — the parent’s history of drug abuse or domestic violence, their failure to use visitation rights in the past, and the parent not having any contact with the child. Many people wrongly believe that a parent who fails to pay child support will lose their child visitation rights automatically; however, courts consider child support and child visitation as separate issues and does not deny visitation solely on the basis of this criterion.
Avoiding these myths can help separating couples take steps in the right direction when contesting child custody. It is also important for these couples to hire an expert family law lawyer in Dallas, TX who can represent them in the family court. These professionals have in-depth knowledge of how family laws operate and can help their clients secure a favorable decision.