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5 Myths about Child Custody and Support

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  1. Mothers always get custody of the kids

False! The court will always choose what is in the best interest of the child. The court will examine all of the evidence, with their only goal being to make a decision that is best for your child, whether that be the father having custody, the mother having custody, neither having custody, or both having custody!

2. If we have joint custody, I won’t have to pay child support

True and False! The way that the court determines child support is based on a statutory calculation which takes into account each parent’s income, how much time each parent has custody of the children, and the children’s expenses, like clothes, insurance, school costs, etc. To calculate what you may pay in child support (or spousal maintenance), you can use Divorce Matter’s Child Support Calculation App! If you have joint custody and you already do pay for a portion of the child’s monthly expenses when they live at your house, you may already pay enough and do not need to pay any additional money in child support!

  1. I can deny visitation if my ex does not pay child support

False! Visitation is a separate issue from child support and therefore, if visitation rights are outlined in the parenting agreement, those rights cannot be withheld based on failure to pay child support. It is important to follow the parenting agreement exactly as written, otherwise you may get in trouble with the court as well! The best course of action is to speak with your attorney about notifying the court that your ex is not paying the proper child support. The court will then decide what action is best to take and you will remain free and clear of any trouble!

  1. The kids get to choose which parent they live with

False! As mentioned above, the court takes only one thing in to account when deciding who should receive custody of the children: the best interest of the children. That means that the judge will take into account many of the different factors that affect this, including the wishes of the children. However, this isn’t the only factor the judge will consider so while this is taken into account it is not necessarily how the judge will rule.

  1. My ex can move out of state with the kids without my consent

False! While it is true that your ex can move your kids out of state without asking you before you file, once paperwork has been filed for separation or for a parenting agreement, there will be an injunction placed on moving the children. This means that, regardless of permission, the children will need to stay exactly where they are!