Prevalent Myths About Child Custody

Law Blog

Divorce is a sensitive issue. Day-to-day conversations about child custody tend to be highly emotive and are often characterized by a mixture of facts, half-truths, and myths.

Some myths about child custody have become so prevalent that they are often pass off as "conventional wisdom". It is important for divorcees to be able to separate the myths from the facts so that they don't end up surprised when the time comes for these myths to apply. Remember that ignorance is no defense before the law. This article discusses a few prevalent myths about divorce.  

Child Custody Automatically Goes To The Mother

This is perhaps the most prevalent myth about divorce. The fact that mothers often end up winning custody of children in a large number of cases does not mean that the father cannot be granted child custody rights.  Mothers often end up winning child custody cases based on the concept of Tender Years Presumption that asserts the preference of maternal care during the child's early years.

However, if the father is able to prove that the mother is unfit for parenting, there is no reason why he should be denied child custody rights.

The Child's Opinion Matters

A large number of divorcees believe the false notion that children can have their say with regards to which parent they would wish to continue their lives with. This is only possible in custody cases involving relatively older children (say 13 years old and above). Even then, the child's best interest may not be served if their wish is granted. As such, the presiding judge can easily disregard the child's custody wishes. Therefore, parents should not bank on a child's testimony when evaluating their chances of winning custodial rights.

No Money, No Visitation

It is not uncommon for one parent to skip on making child support payments. Sometimes, there's a genuine reason for this occurrence and other times it's just the parent not being responsible.

Whatever the case, failure to pay for child support is not legal grounds to deny a parent the right to visit his/her children. Unfortunately when visitation rights are denied for failure to pay child support, a large number of affected parents use this as justification for continuing to skip on child support payments.

If one spouse fails to pay child support, the best course of action for the other spouse would be going to court. Child visitation rights and child support are two different entities and none should be used as leverage for the other.

Don't be misled. Separate the wheat from the chaff before calling in a child custody family lawyer.


26 January 2016

Sorting out my dad's estate

My dad died when I was still pretty young so it's been a big surprise all the stuff I've had to do to sort out his estate. I'm an only child and my folks divorced when I was a baby so most of the work fell to me. He was kind of disorganised and grumpy, but at least he'd spoken to his lawyer and got a proper will drawn up which saved on confusion at a tricky time. If you are a young person dealing with the estate of a deceased parent, this blog is designed to help you navigate the legal processes.