Pursing A Child Custody Case? Make Sure You Recognize Fact From Fiction
Child custody cases are often complicated. Not only do they focus on a sensitive topic, but many people don't have a clear understanding when it comes to how they are handled. This often leads to a number of misconceptions. If you are considering embarking on a child custody case, make certain you know how to discern fact from fiction by learning about the following misconceptions.
Older Children Always Decide Their Custody Preference
Some people are under the impression that older children get to decide who they want to have custody awarded to. However, depending on what state you live in, this statement is only partially true. For example, in the state of California, Family Code 3042 basically states that if a child is old enough, the courts will take into consideration their custody preference.
Given this scenario, if a teenager wanted to stay with their mother because they preferred the high school in their mother's neighborhood over their fathers, this factor would be considered during the decision making process. In some other states, however, the child's age may not be as much of a factor in the court's decision.
Mothers Are Always At An Advantage
Some people might believe that courts prefer to award custody to mothers instead of fathers. This is in part due to the fact that in years past, the courts awarded children under the age of five to the mother. This is no longer the standard. The courts are most concerned with the welfare of the child.
The legal system deems the parent who is able to provide the most safe, nourishing and financially secure environment to be the ideal custodial parent. Any decision the court makes will be irrespective of the gender of the parent and the age of the child.
False Allegations Are Harmless
Child custody cases sometimes bring out the worst in adults. In an effort to ensure the case goes in their favor, some people will make false allegations against the other parent. Abuse and neglect are two common allegations.
It's important to understand that if the court finds that you made these allegations without warrant, not only do you run the risk of your claim for custody being denied, but you could also face sometimes harsh criminal and financial penalties. If there is a valid claim against the other parent that you want to address with the courts, make certain you have researched the matter before presenting it.
Understanding how to separate fact from fiction can help minimize some of the stress associated with child custody cases. Your attorney will be able to help dispel any other myths to ensure you have a clear understanding. Speak to a law firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC for more information.