Child custody: Fact or fiction?

Deciding to end a marriage is not easy. Wisconsin residents usually talk to their friends and family members before finalizing their plans and end up getting a lot of advice, both solicited and unsolicited, especially if there are children involved. What one hears can affect their opinion about divorce. This is why it is important to separate fact from fiction with regards to child custody in a divorce.

Common myths about child custody

The most common myth is that child custody arrangements have to be decided in court. Parents often finalize custody by negotiating with one another or through their attorneys outside of court. Where this is not possible, couples can choose to mediate, whereby a neutral third party helps couples reach an agreement, or arbitrate.

Secondly, couples may think that children get to decide who they want to live with, but this is not the case. While kids can express their preference, it is only one of the factors courts consider and that too if the child is above a certain age. However, if a child is strongly opposed to living with a parent, the court can appoint a guardian to get to the bottom of the problem. It is also a misconception that mothers get full custody. The number of fathers getting primary custody is increasing annually. Courts make custody decisions based on what is best for the child, and this is usually equal custody.

Protect the child’s best interests

It is not uncommon for emotions to be running high during a divorce, especially when children are involved. It is a good idea to have an idea of the outcomes one is expecting in a divorce and to voice them to an experienced family law attorney who can help individuals achieve them.