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Law Office of Richard R. Johnson
Representing Clients In Sacramento And Surrounding Areas

Debunking Three Myths About Child Custody

Given the emotional nature of child custody disputes, it is not surprising that there is a lot of misinformation based on hearsay and outdated notions of how the courts make custody determinations. The courts will always attempt to make a decision that they consider to be in the best interests of the child. A child's best interests can differ from case to case, and there is no overarching factor that will necessarily carry the day. It is important to seek help from an experienced lawyer who can help guide you through this process.

At the Law Office of Richard R. Johnson, our attorney has been helping people resolve difficult family law issues for more than 30 years. We are available to explain your child custody options so that you can choose the best path forward for your family. Call our office in Sacramento at 916-921-6925.

Dispelling Common Custody Myths

Three common myths that we encounter when it comes to custody matters are:

Myth #1: The Court Will Always Side With The Mother

There may have been some truth to this statement in decades past. However, courts now recognize that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to a custody determination and other divorce-related matters. As mentioned above, the court will attempt to make a decision that it considers to be in the best interests of the child. If the court determines that a person other than the mother is better suited to raise the child, it may award custody to the other parent, another family member or a guardian.

One important thing to note is that the court also recognizes that a child benefits from a relationship with both parents. The court may award custody to someone other than the mother, but the mother may still receive some type of visitation time with her child.

Myth #2: The Child Has No Say In A Custody Determination

The court may take into account a child's wishes when it comes to custody. Of course, there are limits to how far this can go. The desires of a 5-year-old may not matter much, if at all. However, the wishes of a 16-year-old may play a role in the court's decision. As always, the ultimate determination comes down to what is in the child's best interests. If a child's wishes would clearly run contrary to his or her best interests, the court will not take those wishes into account.

Myth #3: Custody Must Be Awarded To A Biological Parent

The law does not require that a child be placed in the custody of his or her birth mother or father; it is common for aunts, uncles, grandparents and others to be awarded custody. However, as noted above, the court will attempt to have a child maintain a relationship with one or both parents whenever possible, often by granting visitation rights.

Contact Us To Learn More

To learn more about how child custody determinations are made in California, call our office in Sacramento at 916-921-6925. You may also contact us online and we will respond to your message promptly.

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