Child custody is often a contentious issue in divorces in Charlotte, North Carolina, when there are kids caught up in the middle. Sometimes neither parent wants the other to have primary or joint custody and is not cooperating to facilitate things.

There are many misconceptions about the determination of child custody is determined that can leave both parties at a disadvantage and make it harder for the kids to adjust to the changes that come with divorce. Parents who are contemplating divorce should consider the following child custody myths and take reasonable actions to prevent challenges in the event of divorce and facilitate an outcome that is fair and in the best interests of their kids.

  1. The mother gets preference in custody decisions

The courts no longer automatically award primary custody to mothers. The courts view custody as a joint obligation that both parents should share unless there is a risk of neglect, abuse or a shared custody arrangement that goes against the best interests of the children. Determining custody is no easy matter, and there are often challenges, especially when one or both parents cannot come to an agreement on the matter. To level the playing field, the courts use criteria to determine the best custody and parenting arrangement for the children, with consideration to each parent’s circumstances.

  1. If the split is amicable, there is no need for a custody order

Not all divorces end up with contentious child custody battles. Many couples split amicably, work through their differences regarding child custody and establish parenting schedules without having to rely on the courts. Formal child custody and parenting agreements establish rules and boundaries as to what each parent can and cannot legally do to cater to the best interests and safety of their kids. Until a court order is in place, both parents have lawful and equal custody of their children.

Divorce is not always easy to navigate, especially when confusion and disagreements regarding child custody persist. Children are the most vulnerable parties. Parents should work together to protect them, and if they are unable to, it may be necessary for the courts to intervene.

Divorce does not have to be the end all for you and your family. The right support, effort and resourcefulness can make the changes and adjustments easier for you and your ex-spouse to manage and keep your children from experiencing the ill-effects of divorce.