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Debunking 4 Child Custody Myths

Debunking 4 Child Custody Myths

It is natural to have concerns about custody when going through a divorce. The many custody myths going around don’t make it easier. You need the help of a child custody law firm to sift the lies from the truth. In the meantime, check these out:

Common Child Custody Myths

Misinformation about child custody causes many sleepless nights. Some common myths include:


1. Mom Is the Favored Custodial Parent

Years ago, moms did everything with and for their children. Dads went to work and made money. Times have changed. Now, most parents are actively involved in the upbringing of their children. Parenting Plans reflect this change in societal norms.


2. You Have to Go to Court When There’s a Custody Disagreement

According to Legal Jobs, around 90% of decisions around child custody are settled without a judge’s ruling. You and your spouse don’t have to agree on the custodial arrangements. It’s still possible to settle the case outside of court with the help of a child custody law firm. Only a judge can ORDER a particular parenting plan. However, the parties can utilize attorneys, mediators, and parenting coordinators/facilitators to help them craft a more suitable parenting plan for themselves and their children. The plan would then be given to a lawyer to put in a proper format for the judge to sign adopting the new agreement as an order.


Informal Negotiation

Both parents must meet and decide on custody. One attorney will come up with a legal document for them to sign, legitimizing the agreement. It’s also possible for these negotiations to take place between the two attorneys.



A neutral third party helps the parents work out their concerns to achieve a fair agreement.


Parenting Coordination/Facilitation

The parties meet with a parenting coordinator or facilitator who is trained to assist parents in better co-parenting. This professional does not dictate timesharing, but can help the parties craft changes to create a plan that is better for the family.


3. The Child Chooses the Parent With Whom S/He Wants to Live

If the child is deemed by the court to be “of sufficient age and maturity,” then the court MAY — not will — take the child’s preferences into consideration. The child’s preference is only one of the factors that the judge must consider in crafting a parenting plan that is in the child’s best interests. There is no set age or guarantee that the child will be allowed to speak with the Court. Frequently, a Guardian Ad Litem is the “voice of the child.”


4. A Parent Can Withhold Timesharing If the Other One Doesn’t Pay Child Support

The law is clear that parenting time cannot be withheld due to lack of payment of child support. Parenting time and child support are two distinct things that cannot be weaponized by parents.

We do not use the word “custody” as a general rule in Florida. We use the terms “parenting time,” “parenting plan,” and “timesharing.” Each family case is regarded individually by the judge to determine what type of parenting plan is in the best interests of the children.

Need help to debunk more child custody myths? Contact our child custody law firm now.

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