Once again, we are addressing common myths regarding divorce and custody! This is the second part of a multipart series. To read more about common myths that we have dispelled, check out our first post on this.
You can prohibit your ex from visitation if they do not pay their child support
When an ex fails to pay child support, it can be incredibly frustrating. However, withholding visitation is not the appropriate response because the law does not support this type of behavior. In fact, withholding visitation can lead the court to favor you ex if/when they try to renegotiate visitation.
If your ex fails to pay child support, do not worry, you are not the first person to experience this! Courts see and handle this all the time. Talk to your attorney and they will help you proceed with the proper legal steps that will either result in fines or garnishments to recover the lost payments.
Children of a Certain Age Get to Choose Which Parent Wins Custody
Children under the age of 18 do not get to pick which parent gets custody, however, there is a kernel of truth that inspires this myth: a court will often consider a child’s preference when making decisions regarding custody. At the end of the day, if a child favors one parent, but the other parent is a better fit then the other parent is likely to be awarded custody.
In cases where a child expresses a strong dislike of one parent, a judge may appoint a guardian to represent the child’s interests and investigate the reasoning behind the dislike of said parent.
A Mental Health Diagnosis Will Prevent a Parent from Receiving Custody
Many people with mental health conditions still make wonderful parents- and courts know this. Courts also know and understand that in many cases, keeping a parent in a child’s life is in the child’s best interest. Depending on the mental health condition, and the severity of it, the court might decide that supervised visits are most appropriate for specific cases. However, showing the court that you are proactively working on your mental health by seeking therapy or treatment can go a long way in your case.
Likewise, criminal history will not cause the court to automatically decide a specific parent shouldn’t have custody. Like mental health conditions, criminal history can vary greatly in terms of seriousness and severity, and therefore, courts will often still allow a parent with a criminal history to have custodial or visitation rights. Exceptions to this lie in serious cases, such as convictions for sexually related crimes.
You must divorce in the state you were married
This is simply not true!
To get divorced in Colorado, you need to live in Colorado for at least 90 days, but it does not matter where the marriage first occurred.
It is better to stay together for the kids
Sorry Blink 182, but it’s not necessarily better to stay together for the kids, and divorce doesn’t necessarily destroy households.
In many cases, it saves the well-being of the child or children of the couple. Whether divorce is the right decision truly depends on the specific family/couple in discussion. We fully explain this in another post, but in summary, it really depends on the extent to which the marriage troubles affect the entire household.
Got any other myths that you want us to address?
We are more than happy to do so! Give us a call at (970) 725-6626 and we would be more than happy to help answer your questions and help you with your divorce.