Three Things You Should Know When Facing A Child Custody Battle

Law Blog

People approach child custody issues with lots of assumptions and erroneous knowledge. However, that approach can easily derail your quest. Here are three things you should know when preparing for a custody battle:

Your Conduct May Not Matter

Your conduct is irrelevant if it doesn't bear directly on your ability to care for your children. The only time the court will consider your conduct is if it interferes with the children's wellbeing. It doesn't matter even whether this behaviour was in the past or is current. Therefore, just because your partner doesn't like something about you doesn't mean he or she can use it to deny you child custody unless this behaviour affects the children's welfare.

For example, the fact that your relationship has broken down to the point where you can't talk with the other parent about any other issue apart from your children is irrelevant. If you can still discuss your children's issues (health, homework and things like that), then that is good enough for the court.

Your Economic Status May Be Irrelevant

Many people will agree that just because you have lots of money doesn't make you a good parent, and the courts concur. This provision prevents poor parents from being disadvantaged during child custody negotiations. It also prevents rich parents from bribing their way into sole custody.

As far as the law is concerned, the money should follow the child, and not the other way round. This is why there is child support; the primary custody parent is determined independently of his or her economic status. The noncustodial parent is ordered to pay child support to raise the child.

No Preference for Either Parent

Many people assume that courts are biased towards mothers when it comes to child custody decisions. This is not true; it is just possible that the pre-custody setup allows most mothers to get custody of their children. For example, you find that many children live with their mothers, and the courts generally do not want to uproot children unless there is compelling evidence.

Both parents are considered fit to live with their children. In fact, the parent (father or mother) living with the child is assumed as the primary guardian, but both of you are legal guardians. Therefore, if you are a mother, don't assume that you will automatically get custody. In the same vein, if you are a father, don't assume that the mother has the upper hand.

As you can see, child custody issues are a bit complicated, and many people hold the wrong presumptions. Therefore, don't approach it with your personal beliefs, but rather under the advice of your family lawyer, like those at Mcdonald Law Office. Note that some of these laws and regulations may vary according to your jurisdiction.


11 February 2015