Common Misconceptions About Child Custody In California
Child custody is a family law issue that frequently arises during divorce proceedings, but it can also affect parents of children born outside of marriage. If you’re a parent involved in a child custody dispute, you may not be fully familiar with some of the legal jargon you’re facing. But rest assured, there are many parents involved in custody battles who never expected to find themselves in this situation.
Five myths about child Custody and why they’re not true
As with most things, there are many myths and misconceptions about child custody that people get from family, friends or unreliable sources on the Internet throughout their lives. In this blog post, we’ll do our best to debunk the most common myths about parenting, explain why they’re wrong, and provide you with more useful information.
However, the information in this article should not be regarded as legal advice. For advice on specific situations, it is best to contact an attorney directly who can help you. Spodek Law Group would be happy to serve you. We invite you to take advantage of our free preliminary consultation.
Myth # 1: Parenthood is about rewarding or punishing parents
Many people mistakenly believe that raising children is to reward or punish parents. While this may be true for parents who believe they should have more custody or visitation rights, the court makes decisions based on the best interests of the child, not the parents.
In most family law cases involving children, the best interests of the child will be used as the basis for assessing decisions. It simply means that the judge will consider the child’s basic needs and decide which arrangement is in the child’s best interest. It may not make things any easier, but it does remove concerns that a court or judge is just trying to punish one party in a custody dispute.
Myth # 2: Mothers always get more custody than fathers
A long-standing misconception about child custody is that mothers always get more custody than fathers. In California, there is no law to enforce this, but it seems to be true because many heterosexual women are still the primary caregivers for their children.
In considering the best interests of the child, the court considers who was primarily responsible for the child prior to the custody dispute. If the mother contributes more than 50 percent to raising the child, she may be prioritized as the primary caregiver. There’s nothing in the law that says a man can’t be the primary caregiver, so men may have more equal custody.
Of course, other factors, such as the relationship between the child and the parent, how long the parent works and where they live, also play an important role in determining custody, so it’s not just a question of who will be the primary care giver for the child. However, the gender of both parents is completely irrelevant.
Myth # 3: Kids can decide who they want to live with
Parents may be afraid to fight for custody because they fear their child’s desire to live with them or another parent will be fulfilled. If the child is under 14, the court may consider the child’s wishes, but judges are under no obligation to do so or to respect the child’s wishes. The judge must make a decision based on the best interests of the child.
If the child is 14 or older, California law says that if the child expresses a desire to do so, the court must hear him. However, even in this case, the court will decide what is in the best interest of the child. The child has the right to speak in court, but the judge does not have to respect the child’s wishes.
Myth 4: There are no real consequences for breaking a guardianship order
Contrary to what some people think, there are consequences for breaking guardianship orders, some of them serious. If the other party’s statutory and/or physical custody rights, including visitation rights, are violated, the child support order may be amended to limit the violation of parental custody or visitation rights. In extreme cases, parental rights can be revoked.
Because a violation of a guardianship order is no different from a violation of any other court order, a parent who violates an order can be held in contempt of court. This can be punished by a fine, community service or imprisonment.
Myth # 5: Your lawyer can no more help you than you can help yourself
This last myth is also worth considering. You don’t necessarily need an attorney to represent you in a custody battle, but if you don’t seek legal advice, this can be a major disadvantage.
When it comes to researching and developing legal arguments to defend clients’ interests and rights in court, lawyers have the experience and skills that most people don’t. You should seek the help of an attorney when you encounter a dispute, especially when it involves your children or other family law matters.
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