When you started your family, it was with high hopes that divorce would never wreck your bonds as parents. However, changes do happen, and you now find that seeking a divorce feels like the only answer to your marital problems. Although the U.S. Census Bureau reports that divorce rates for couples with children are 40 percent lower than childless marriages, the truth is that your marriage is still vulnerable to the stresses that lead to divorce. Sadly, there are many misconceptions about child custody that may leave you worried about how to proceed with your divorce, but knowing the truth allows you to make the best decisions for your family.
Myth #1: Only One Parent Can Have Custody
People often think that only one parent can have sole custody of their child while the other parent must defer to all of their decisions. However, the fact is that custody arrangements are open enough to fit a variety of situations. For instance, joint custody gives both parents the right to make major decisions regarding a child’s living arrangements, education, and health care. While your child may still live with one of their parents as a primary residence, many parents work out visitation arrangements that allow everyone to have equal time together.
Myth #2: The Courts Decide Everything
In most divorces, child custody issues can be worked out before your case is ever seen by a judge. This is often done through mediation agreements where you and your ex-spouse meet with a neutral party who helps you work out your differences. Negotiating your child custody agreement gives you more control over how your children are raised. This is also an ideal way to prevent your divorce from taking place in the public eye.
Myth #3: Mothers Always Get First Choice of Custody
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 75 percent of children from divorced parents in America live with their mothers. Although this statistic can sometimes be daunting for fathers, try to keep in mind that this still means that one-fourth of children live with their fathers. Perspectives regarding childrearing are changing in America, and fathers can now expect to receive equal consideration when it comes to their child’s living arrangements.
Myth #4: Custody Arrangements are Permanent
You should always go into your divorce mediation sessions with the idea that child custody arrangements should be long-term since this tends to be best for the child. However, this does not mean that changes are etched in stone and impossible to change. At times, life circumstances can lead to a need to alter your child custody agreement, such as the primary custodial parent having a health issue that affects their ability to continue to parent as they did in the past. Should this happens, seek legal advice that helps you know how to proceed with altering the agreement while staying in compliance with any court orders that are in place.
Myth #5: Custody Battles Are Always Bitter
When you think about it, it just doesn’t make sense to engage in a bitter trial that ends with no one being happy. Instead, your child benefits when you and your partner try to take the high road during your custody discussions. When necessary, reach out to our experts here at Cuppls to learn how to keep communication positive during difficult divorce proceedings. After all, you will continue to parent together with your ex-spouse over the upcoming years, so it’s far better if you can start off co-parenting with a calm atmosphere that promotes harmony for everyone.
Your best friend might have engaged in a wicked custody battle or you may have heard frightening things in the news. While there are some couples who struggle with child custody issues, the truth is that most are resolvable when you set your mind to working through your issues together. Whether you are seeking sole custody or prefer to share responsibilities with your child’s other parent, remember that our legal experts are always here to guide you in the right direction.