Divorce is rarely pleasant for anyone, including both parties and especially any minor children involved. Unfortunately, a persistent belief in divorce misconceptions can make the process worse for all involved. That is is why it is important to understand the truth from a legal perspective and dispel misconceptions.
The issues concerning custody and child support are particularly emotional, and there are a few especially pervasive myths concerning them. Below are three common, but false, beliefs concerning custody and child support.
Myth: If the party paying child support dies, the recipient and child are out of luck and won't receive any more funds.
In reality, child support is an obligation that is centered around a child's timeline, not the parent of the child who pays support. That means in the event of the death of a parent who is paying child support, the estate of the deceased parent will take over responsibility for payments.
This doesn't necessarily mean the process of obtaining owed support will be easy or seamless; indeed, the recipient parent may need to file suit in court to gain access to those funds. However, since there is a widespread understanding of the gravity of this obligation within the American court system, the final result will likely be the awarding of assets for the benefit of the child.
The courts may also exercise its authority to prevent this unfortunate outcome from resulting in unpaid child support. In some jurisdictions, the payer of child support may be ordered to purchase a life insurance policy that specifically funds child support payments in the event of death.
Myth: If the child support payer quits paying, then the recipient may withhold visitation rights (or vice versa).
There is a common belief that a refusal to pay child support upon the part of the payer justifies the suspension of visitation rights by the recipient. However, the courts view child support, custody and visitation as separate issues; that means that no parent may legally violate a visitation agreement in an effort to coerce child support payments. A violation of this agreement may be challenged, and the courts are likely to find that the child still has right to visit a non-paying parent.
Likewise, the payer of child support may not suspend payments if the custodial parent refuses to allow their child to visit. Once again, the courts will consider the issue based upon what is best for the child from financial, emotional and physical perspectives. A refusal to pay support may possibly land the non-paying parent in jail, so obtaining the help of an attorney to pursue a legal recourse is always the best choice.
Myth: Custody almost always goes to the mother.
At one time, there may have been a lot of truth to this statement. However, the courts have evolved in their understanding of custodial rights, and with the advent of two working parents in a household, this is no longer true.
Instead, the courts will evaluate past history regarding the care of affected children and make decisions based upon who is best able to provide the fullest measure of care. In some cases, the father may prove to be the best custodial parent, in the eyes of the court, and will be awarded custody.
In addition, the courts also tend to view the best possible outcome as one where both parties fully share custody. That eliminates the artificial distinctions that may inhibit a child's ability to relate to both parents in the fullest sense. Of course, such arrangements aren't always possible, depending on the degree of cooperation between the parties, and the courts may have to make distinctions.
Talk to an attorney at a place like Bineham & Gillen, PLLC for more information.Share
20 March 2017
Adopting a child is a wonderful way to bring a child into your family and give a child that needs a home a loving environment to grow up in. Unfortunately, the adoption process is not easy to get through. If you fail to file one document, the adoption can be set back by months. This blog will show you what to expect as you work your way thorough the adoption process and give you a few ideas of the things that you should leave up to your family attorney. Hopefully, what I have learned through my two adoptions will help you get through yours with no issues.