Chrystal Workman, mother of Modern Family star Ariel Winter recently lost nearly all her parental rights to her daughter in favor of her ex-husband, who will control Ariel's finances, and eldest daughter, who will step in to provide physical custody of Ariel. In the process, Chrystal's case helped to dispel one of the most common myths regarding child custody disputes - that the mother always gets the children. Here are four other myths which are widely held, but which are typically false.
- Men only want custody to reduce their child support payments. While this is true in some situations, in most cases the reason a man asks for custody of his children is that he loves them. A father is as much the parent of the child as is the mother.
- Children of divorced parents are destined to suffer psychological damage. Again, this myth is pervasive because some high profile cases have come to light where children do indeed suffer from warring parents. However, it's not necessarily true, especially when the parents make an agreement to always work out their differences peacefully when it comes to dealing with the children. Many divorcing parents also help their children get counseling.
- Custodial parents can never move out of the same area as the other parent if that parent has joint custody or visitation rights. Parents can try to sue to prevent a former spouse from moving out of state with the children. But it is not a given that a request preventing the custodial parent from moving is granted by the court.
- Joint physical custody is always the best solution for the child. As the case with Chrystal Workman has shown, this is not always the case, especially when one parent has emotional or substance abuse issues.
If you and your spouse are in the midst of a divorce, it is vital that you obtain representation to help you protect your parental rights so that they are be curtailed by the court or by your spouse's efforts to obtain full custody.