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What are some common child custody misconceptions?

Once you've started discussing the possibility of divorce, you will often notice that almost everyone you know has an opinion on what you should do or what is likely to happen. While this can be helpful to some degree, it can also lead to a lot of misinformation.

This becomes especially true when it comes to child custody. One common misconception that makes its way around is that mothers typically win primary custody because the legal system favors them in some way. While this may have been true in the past, it isn't so much now. Social norms are changing, leading to varying family structures. Some families have both parents working while others may have a stay-at-home father or mother. More cases are moving toward a shared custody arrangement.

Another misconception is that parents who get along well don't need a custody schedule. These parents may easily agree on how to share time at the present moment, but there is no way to tell what might happen in the future. If work schedules change or a parent remarries, things may become a lot more contentious. This is why having a detailed agreement is important.

Another issue is when some parents go into the custody battle with fists raised. They feel as though they need to fight until the end so that their children know they fought their hardest for them. At face value this may be understandable, but in actuality no child likes to hear that their parents fought because of them. Not willing to compromise can also lead to a judge having to make the decision for you, and sometimes, that may not work to your advantage.

Before believing just any information that you hear while going through the divorce process, it's important to discuss these matters with your lawyer. The main idea that drives child custody decisions is the best interest of the child involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Five Custody Myths Separating Parents Need to Know," Carla Schiff Donnelly, Aug. 5, 2014

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