If you face a child custody dispute, you are likely to feel a variety of emotions. To help you manage your feelings, you may ask friends, family members or colleagues for insight. While some information you are apt to receive is worthwhile, other details about child custody may prove misleading.
How do you know the difference? While working with a knowledgeable attorney is likely your best bet, you should watch out for some common types of misinformation. Here are three child custody myths you should not believe:
Myth 1: You do not need to pursue a court order
You may get along fantastically well with your children’s other parent. If so, you may believe you can work out an informal agreement about custody, visitation, schooling and other important child-related matters. This may be a mistake, though. If circumstances change, your informal parenting contract may become problematic. Therefore, it is typically a good idea to obtain a court order that specifically addresses child custody.
Myth 2: Mothers always win custody battles
Whether you are a mother or father, you may believe that mothers always win custody. That simply is not the case, though. On the contrary, Texas law recognizes that relationships with both parents are usually vital to the overall well-being of children. If it is in the best interests of the kids to be with one parent over the other, you can expect a judge to award custody to the suitable parent.
Myth 3: Without visitation, you can skip child support
If you have an obligation to pay child support, you must follow through with the order. You cannot withhold child support payments because your children’s other parent does not let you see the kids. The opposite is also true. That is, you cannot withhold visitation because your former partner refuses to (or cannot) pay child support. If you have a dispute about visitation or support payments, there are legal ways to solve it.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with asking for advice about your child custody matter, you must realize that not all information you receive is valuable. Like the three myths above illustrate, some information may be inaccurate. Because no two child custody cases are exactly the same, you must work to identify and reject the myths of child custody.