Child custody proceedings can be mentally, physically and emotionally taxing. Many times, popular misconceptions can make parents fearful of court rulings, which only adds to the stress of the situation. It’s time these misconceptions are set straight so that you can go into your custody case with a better understanding of what to expect.
Myth 1: Mothers will always win custody battles
You might have heard that a court will almost always award custody to the mother, especially when children are still young and developing. This is not necessarily the case. In custody proceedings, both mothers and fathers have certain rights when it comes to court rulings. Most important to remember, however, is that a judge will consider a child’s best interests when deciding custody.
Myth 2: Children get to choose who they want to live with
In Texas, a judge may ask your child which parent they would prefer to live with if they are 12 years or older. This will often occur outside of court proceedings in a more informal and relaxed environment, so your child can speak comfortably and honestly. However, keep in mind that a judge does not have to appeal to the child’s preferences if it goes against their best interests. A child’s preference is not the determining factor in custody rulings.
Myth 3: You cannot change custody arrangements
Although a court ruling might feel final, custody arrangements are not set in stone. Life might take you any number of places, and your custody arrangements should adapt to any new life changes. For example, if you plan on moving out of state, parenting time, child support and other arrangements may have to be modified to accommodate this new change.
Knowing the truth behind these common myths can help ease your anxiety when it comes to child custody proceedings. If you are worried about the outcome of your custody case, an attorney can help you understand your options and seek the best possible arrangement for your child.