3 Myths Surrounding Child Custody Debunked

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange County divorce mediation; California Divorce MediatorsWhen it comes to the various aspects surrounding child custody, there are numerous misconceived notions that typically affect a divorcing parent’s rationale. Working out your divorce strategy and custody-related arrangement based on such myths can not only leave you unduly stressed but also end up influencing an unfavorable final verdict. Let us have a look at some of the fallacies that surround most of the custody-related cases.

Myth #1:  The mother has an upper hand

One of the most common misconceptions that most people battling custody cases in the court have is that the mother always gets an inordinate preference when designing the custody and visitation schedule. Although, it is more of a concept of “yesteryear” when the mother was automatically awarded the full custody of young children, the times have changed and so have the state laws. The gender bias is no longer prevalent in the present day laws, and the custody and visitation arrangements are crafted entirely upon the best interests of the child. 

Myth #2:  Teenagers get to decide where they live

Although the court of law provides the children the liberty of voicing their opinions and wishes regarding where they want to live, it is via the judge’s discretion alone that the final arrangements are made. In other words, a child can express his desire to live with one parent, but his/her wish will not typically influence the final verdict unless there is a significant reason to do so. For example, if a child expresses his/her fear of living with an abusive parent or even meeting him/her, the court of law has the discretion to hold the former’s suggestion as a valuable influence of the judgment.

Myth #3:  A parent might lose visitation rights if he/she defaults on a support payment

Although there can be several reasons, such as a threat to the emotional and physical well-being of a child, where the court might order the rights of visitation be taken away from a parent, an inability to pay for support is never counted as a substantial reason to do so. A court might make changes in the visitation schedule, order supervised visitation or completely deny the right to a parent if it is in the beast interests of the child. However, only because a parent defaults on a support payment, he/she cannot be denied the right to exercise his/her parental duties.

If you too have any misconception regarding the custody and visitation laws of your state, you can consult a lawyer who can clarify your rights and provide you with authentic legal information.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, What is Divorce Mediation