Pacheco Perez P.A.

Myths about child custody: Fight against your misconceptions

You've heard the ones about the three little pigs, Goldilocks and the tortoise and the hare. Chances are, though, that those are not the only fairy tales and myths you have encountered in your life -- what about those surrounding your Florida divorce? Misconceptions abound for couples who are looking to dissolve their marriage, especially where child custody proceedings are concerned. Get ready to challenge some of your inaccurate beliefs about child custody negotiations.

First, there is a rumor out there that mothers always win custody of their children. Yes, there was a time during which the law presumed that women would automatically be the better caretaker. However, in Florida and other states, a growing movement is pushing for joint or shared physical custody. This is due to changes in our social norms, but the law is also now informed by scientific studies that show the benefits of having both parents in a child's life.

Another myth: You should always fight as hard as you can for every moment of time with your children. It is important to remember that the amount of effort you put in to your child custody proceeding does not make you a better parent; your child may not be impressed that you "fought harder" than the other parent. If you become adversarial, you often lose your power in the courtroom. That is, the custody decision is taken out of your hands and given to a stranger -- the judge.

Finally, many parents believe that their divorce is so amicable that they do not need a custody schedule. Although this sounds idyllic, the situation really only exists in fairy tales. Do the hard work up front by creating a detailed custody agreement, and you will save yourself the headaches of sorting out holidays and summer breaks on the fly. An amicable divorce does not have to lie only in legend; however, it is best to recognize child custody myths when you see them.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Five Custody Myths Separating Parents Need to Know" Carla Schiff Donnelly, Jun. 05, 2014

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