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Debunking child custody myths

If you and your child’s other parent are disputing the specifics of your child’s custody arrangements, you are likely feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and even frightened. When your child was born, you almost certainly did not dwell on the possibility that you could be compelled to spend significant amounts of time away from him or her before your baby reached the age of 18. However, if your child custody case does not conclude in your favor, you could be forced to endure just that. It is not surprising that this possibility is potentially sending you into an emotional tailspin.

It is therefore important that you separate truth from fiction when contemplating your situation. A child custody dispute is stressful enough without introducing misunderstanding into the equation. For example, an enduring myth holds that mothers always win child custody disputes. This is far from the truth. If you buy into this myth as a mother, you could unintentionally sabotage your case by being overly confident. If you buy into this myth as a father, you could unintentionally sabotage your case by being defeatist.

Another myth holds that you must fight your child’s other parent for primary custody of your child. The truth is that if it is in your child’s best interest that he or she remain primarily with your former romantic partner or if it is in his or her best interests that you split custody with your former romantic partner, you may serve your own needs as your child’s parent and advocate to pursue the option that is best for him or her. 

Source: The Huffington Post, “Five Custody Myths Separating Parents Need to Know,” Carla Schiff Donnelly, June 5, 2014

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