The divorce procedure can be stressful at the best of times. However, when children are involved, tensions can be heightened. Often, parents may have preconceived notions about child support.
As a result, it is important to separate misconceptions from reality. Outlined below are three of the most common myths relating to child custody in Florida:
The courts always favor mothers
It is often suggested that the courts will always side with the mother in child custody cases. However, this is simply not true. There are various factors that the court will consider throughout their deliberations. Consideration will be given to who has been the child’s primary caregiver, as well as numerous other elements. All in all, the court’s approach is centered around what is in the best interests of the child.
A parent can stop visitation of child support is stopped
Often, when one parent falls behind with child support, the other parent believes this gives them a legal right to cease visitation. However, this is not the case. Child support and child custody are treated as distinctly separate legal issues in Florida. Each parent has a legal right to custody, and this stopped absent the court’s termination.
Children over 12 get to decide whom they live with
It is a common misconception that children over twelve years old get the final say in who they live with. Nevertheless, this is untrue. Children under eighteen years of age are minors in Florida. Testimony from children is sometimes permitted, but it is only one of the numerous factors that a judge will take into consideration. All in all, the court aims to produce a result that is in the best interests of the child, regardless of age.
Understanding your rights as a parent in Florida is imperative. If you are involved in a child custody case, then there are legal rights and protections available to you.