Legal issues related to family law can be difficult for many people to understand, especially because emotions and tensions are often high when discussing these issues. Child custody is a difficult topic to approach, especially when two people dearly love a child.
Since emotions are often so high in the child custody process, many people fall prey to common myths associated with child custody. Here are some of the most common myths.
Can a Child Decide Who They Want to Live With?
A child does not necessarily decide who he or she wants to live with, and it is a common misconception that they do. The judge may ask older children if they have a specific preference regarding who they would like to live with, but that judge is under no obligation to base the entirety of the decision on this preference. The judge ultimately determines what will be best for the child.
Do Mothers Always Win Custody Cases?
Mothers do not always win child custody cases, though it is a common thought because it happens in so many agreements. When men fight for custody in court, they often get it. Judges consider how fit each parent is for custody as well as the child's best interest in making custody decisions.
Can the Custodial Parent Move a Child Out of State?
Generally, most parents cannot decide to move out of state on a whim. If one parent has custody and the other has visitation, the custodial parent must inform the non-custodial parent of the move. The non-custodial parent can push for a hearing to determine if moving the child is in his or her best interest.
Can You Give Up Custodial Rights in Exchange for Not Paying Child Support?
Some people believe they can sign away their rights to a child so that they do not have to pay child support. Avoiding child support payments is not that simple. In order to sign away parental rights and avoid paying child support, a step-parent must typically be willing to legally adopt the child. The government wants to ensure that the child will be taken care of financially.
Can You Stop Visitations If the Other Parent Stops Paying Child Support?
No, the custodial parent can’t stop the other parent from seeing or visiting the child after they have stopped receiving child support. In fact, the custodial parent may actually get in trouble for violating a court order if he or she fails to allow the other parent to see the child when he or she is legally obliged to.
Can You Get Custody by Filing for Divorce First?
Many people believe they will receive custody of their children if they are the first to file for divorce, but this is not the case. One parent may obtain de facto custody before the divorce proceedings, but this is simply because he or she physically has the children before the hearing. It does not necessarily influence who has the children after the custody hearing.
Can You Seek Custody Without an Attorney?
While it is possible to receive custody of your child without a family attorney, it is a good idea to at least consult with an attorney first. Without an attorney, you might not have all the answers to your legal questions. You could miss important information that gets lost in the shuffle. Most importantly, your chances of getting custody of your children increases when you have an attorney to assist you.
The Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C. offers legal services related to family law. Call us today to establish a consultation with one of our legal professionals so you can work toward establishing custody of your child. We understand the complexity of the issues you are facing.