There are many myths about how child custody works; it’s important to know the truth so that you can make the best decisions for your family. Here are the most common misconceptions that people believe.
You have to go to court to get custody
In Texas, you can get custody without ever stepping foot in a courtroom. If you and the other parent can agree on child custody, you can work with your family law attorneys to finalize the agreement without going to court. However, if there is a dispute or if one of the parents does not agree to the proposed custody arrangement, then it may be necessary to go before a judge, mediator or arbitrator.
The mother always gets custody
Fathers have just as much right to child custody as mothers do. In some cases, it is actually the father who is granted primary custody of the children. Remember that the court prioritizes your child’s best interest when deciding on custody. Thus, parents who are good parents will often get custody.
The child will choose the parent to live with
It’s not up to the child to decide the parent they want to live with. If the child is old enough, typically at least 12 years, a judge will factor in their preference when determining custody. However, there are a lot of factors that go into this decision. There are instances where a judge can appoint a guardian to represent the child’s interest and determine the problem when they are vehemently opposed to living with one parent.
A parent can withhold visitation if the other parent fails to pay child support
This is not only false but illegal in Texas. In fact, the other parent can file to modify the custody arrangement in their favor if they are being prevented from seeing their child.
The basis of child custody and support in Texas is the child’s best interest. Whatever decision you or the judge would make must first prioritize your child’s needs and well-being.