Putting together a fair and complete child custody agreement is no easy task. It’s complicated, the emotions run hot, and both parties usually forget how to compromise. However, some people base their custody plans on some facts they didn’t know aren’t facts at all.
5. The Courts Usually Side With The Mother
Gender bias in custody hearings is one of the biggest myths we hear. Not only is it untrue, but the California Family Code says it’s illegal. Courts will grant custody based on the best interest of the child, and that is based on any number of things. This myth is also changing how fathers approach custody agreements. Recent statistics show that 91% of custody cases are settled without involvement from the courts and that in 51% of cases, the father voluntarily agrees to allow the mother to retain primary physical custody. The perception of gender bias has caused many fathers to not even try to ask for primary custody, simply because they assume they won’t get it.
4. Children Will Be Asked At Some Point To Choose With Whom They Want To Live
The courts don’t do this for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, minors don’t get to make those decisions. When courts have to decide custody, they look at the factors of what’s in the child’s best interest. If you think about it, with the way most divorcing couples behave, a lot of kids will choose “Neither of them” and ask to go live with Ariana Grande. When kids are teenagers, sometimes they can ask for a change in arrangements — but they don’t get the last word. Asking a kid to choose one parent over another is traumatic to the child and not something that actually happens.
3. Delinquent Child Support Payments Means You Can Deny Visitation
When a parent fails to meet their support obligations to their child, there’s a lot of things they don’t get access to. Their tax returns, their driver’s license, their passport, large chunks of their wages, and many others. Visitation rights with their children however, are not on that list. Even if the child support payments are all sorts of overdue, if there’s a court order — that parent still has a right to see their child. Don’t mess with court orders. You can nag them and bust their chops about when they’re going to accept responsibility and pay what they owe as a parent — but you can’t deny access to their child.
2. Where The Child Lives Before The Court Order Is Where They Stay
The name for this really is “status quo” and the legal concept is actually the origin of the expression. While status quo is a factor in a court’s decision, what’s a bigger factor is that same phrase you hear over and over again… “the best interests of the child.” Just because you’re the one who left the home doesn’t mean your hopes for primary custody left with you. For the courts to just say the child can stay where they are because that’s where they are, would not only be shortsighted, but also lazy.
1. You Can Get Away With False Abuse Allegations Because This Isn’t Criminal Court
Believe it or not, there’s a lot of people who pull this stunt. More than you should really be comfortable with knowing about, if you want the truth. You’re not in the Criminal Courts, but you’re still accusing someone of a serious crime. Using false allegations of abuse as a bargaining tactic is a crime, and you will probably lose custody and have to pay a hefty fine. If your lawyer is okay with doing this, they can also be in just as hot if not hotter water than you. If there’s actually abuse, you absolutely need to bring that up. If there’s not, don’t use it as a dirty trick just to win a case where there’s no winner.
Drafting any kind of custody agreement can be overwhelming. Use our Contact Us form to speak with a lawyer who can guide you through this complicated process with the care and respect your case deserves.