Five Common Child Custody Myths 

by Bret Reece


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Because child custody battles are often so emotional and inflammatory, there tends to be a lot of exaggeration and misinformation floating around. Here are 5 common myths relating to child custody.

Myth #1. Judges always favor the mother.

Yes, this used be true almost across the board in the United States. More and more, though, judges are leaning toward 50/50 shared custody situations. It still varies from court to court and from judge to judge, but don't assume that the mother will always get the automatic nod. This is important to know if you're a single mother because you can't assume that everything will work out your way. This is important to know if you're a single father because there's much more hope in regard to you getting custody than there would have been even 5-10 years ago.

Myth #2. With 50/50 custody, no child support will be owed by either parent.

While this may be true in some states, the majority of states have formulas that take much more than just the time spent with each parent into consideration. For example, in most states, if the mother makes $50,000 per year and the father makes $35,000 per year, the mother will most likely end up paying the father child support, even if they have an exact 50/50 parenting time split.

Myth #3. Family Courts don't recognize/consider Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) isn't as simple as black and white. Whether or not someone accepts it's existence as defined, the fact remains that alienating behavior exists in entirely too many split families. To be safe as a parent, don't EVER insult, criticize, or belittle the other parent in front of your child(ren). You can bet that if a judge finds out you've been doing that, it will affect his or her decisions, whether its labeled as PAS or not.

Myth #4. It's not necessary to keep a journal during custody battles.

If you go to court looking for more parenting time, more child support, less child support, etc., you need to present a well organized, rational argument to the family court judge. Let's say, for example, that your ex always picks the kids up early and drops them off late, thereby reducing your parenting time by a significant amount. If you go to family court and tell the judge that your ex does this "all the time", he or she is going to ask for examples. If you keep an accurate, complete journal, you'll be able to give him or her a full account of all the times you've been denied parenting time. Even if your journal doesn't make it in front of a judges eyes, it can be an invaluable tool for your lawyer when it comes to preparing for your case.

Myth #5. "If and when my ex remarries, my child support payments will go down."

In most states, the only incomes considered when calculating child support payments are those of the two parents - not their new spouses.


Copyright 2006 – Bret Reece
Bret Reece is the author of Custody Toolbox for Windows, an all-in-one custody manager for parents in custody sharing situations and custody battles.  You can read more about Custody Toolbox at  You can reach Bret at  (This article may be freely reproduced provided it is unaltered and the above information is included.)


More Child Custody Related Articles

- Six Good Reasons to be Nice to Your Ex
- The ABCs of Custody Journals
- Four Tips To Ensure Divorcing Parents Do Not Engage In Alienating Parenting Behavior
- Helping Your Children Handle Divorce

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