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Child support, child custody and divorce: Three myths debunked

Advice about divorce abounds. Internet sites, chats with loved ones and tips from associates may be well meaning, but these conversations are often full of falsities.

Some of the top myths about divorce when it comes to how child custody and child support matters are handled include:

  • Don't pay? Don't play. Although it may sound fair, a failure to make child support payments does not necessarily impact visitation rights. Child support payments can be enforced through the courts, but keeping the parent from having time with the child (as deemed appropriate in the final divorce settlement) is not a legal way to encourage an ex to make payments 
  • Dads do not get custody. Back in the day of the traditional nuclear family, it was not uncommon for the mother to receive sole custody of the children. In fact, it happened so often that it almost seemed automatic. This is no longer the case. It is not uncommon in today's family for the father to stay home and rear the children. It is not uncommon for the man to take to a professional backseat while the woman seeks professional development. Since family roles vary, courts do not simply award custody to the mother. Instead, the courts review the situation and look at the best interest of the children when making their determination.
  • Children choose their home. Children do not get to choose which parent they live with. Depending on the age and mental development of the child, their opinion may be a factor that is taken into consideration by the court. Even in these situations, it is just one of many factors reviewed when the court makes its decision.

These are just a few of the common myths tied to divorce.

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