Debunking Common Child Custody Myths

Posted on Jan 15, 2013 by Katie Carter

Child custody myths vs. child custody facts; it’s important to know the difference when you’re a parent seeking a divorce. Newport News family law attorneys often encounter clients with misconceptions about child custody; the following are among the most common.

Common Child Custody Myths

Child Custody Myth 1: If parents split custody 50/50, neither will have to pay child support. Child custody facts: Child support is a separate area from child custody, or parenting plans. Support payments are based primarily on the parents’ respective incomes.

Myth 2: The courts always award custody to the mother, so you can’t lose. In reality, the court bases child custody decisions on the best interests of the child. Traditionally, mothers have taken the primary nurturing role in a child’s life and have won custody often, but the fathers’ rights movement has done a lot to even the legal playing field. It’s up to you and your Newport News family law attorney to show that you are the best choice for custody.

Myth 3: There’s no need to keep a journal for your custody case. When seeking child custody, facts are important. You can give the judge a general overview of your concerns, but if you have no specific dates or details for the incidents/behaviors that support your claim, you won’t have a strong case.

Myth 4: If you remarry, your ex-husband won’t have to pay as much child support. This is a fairly common child custody myth. The fact is that child support is based on the parents’ incomes, not on the incomes of any new spouses who may come into the picture. However, income obtained during the course of the new marriage by both partners is considered community property. This is a difficult area of law, so it would be best to discuss the topic further with your lawyer to get full disclosure.

Myth 5: Family courts don’t take parental alienation syndrome into consideration. Parental alienation happens when one parent turns the child against the other parent. This can be done in a variety of ways, but in all cases, it deprives the child of a healthy relationship with both parents. The child custody facts are that these types of behaviors are seen in a negative light by those who work in Newport News family law.

Myth 6: You don’t need legal representation for a child custody case. This may be the most damaging child custody myth out there. Custody cases can be complicated, even when they seem simple on the surface. If you have children and are getting divorced, you best choice is to seek the counsel of a Newport News family law attorney.

Contacting a Newport News Family Law Attorney

At Hofheimer Family Law Firm, we know the child custody facts and understand that the health and happiness of your children is your #1 concern. Our women’s-only divorce attorneys will guide you every step of the way to ensure that you achieve the best possible child custody and child support arrangements for you and your children.

To learn more about your Virginia divorce, request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 1-757-425-5200. We’ll help separate child custody myths from facts and will represent your rights.