Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody

A heated child custody battle can and probably will stir up quite a lot of questions about the legalities, regulations, and the process in general. Unless you are working with a family lawyer, the answers can be relatively difficult to find. In order to make things easier on you, Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. and our Madison child custody attorneys have compiled a useful list of child custody FAQs. If you still have questions that need answering, feel free to contact our law firm to speak with our team.

Child Custody FAQ

  1. Should I stay in the family home until ordered to move out?
    Yes, assuming that it is safe and there is no history of domestic violence between you and your spouse. If you willingly leave the family house behind during a child custody dispute, the court may interpret it as your lack of commitment to being with your children. In turn, this will hurt your chances of getting the child custody order you want.
  2. Do courts really prefer mothers over fathers when deciding child custody?
    It is difficult to predict exactly how or why a family law judge will rule on a child custody case, but historically speaking, mothers do tend to win primary or sole custody more often. There are no states that tell courts to prefer mothers for custody battles, so it can only be assumed that there is a prevailing social assumption that motherhood is stronger or more important than fatherhood.
  3. Should I try to get joint custody?
    There are numerous studies that suggest a child of divorce is impacted less if joint custody is agreed upon, rather than sole custody with visitation. Being able to see both parents somewhat equally tends to create a feeling of stability and a sense of family. If you do not have any strong reasons to try to take custody completely from your spouse, then it is probably in everyone’s best interests, including your child’s, to petition for joint custody. Each case is different, though, so talk with a divorce lawyer before making that decision.
  4. Does the primary child custodian always get spousal support as well?
    It is pretty rare for a family law court to assign primary child custody to one parent and not child support to help them pay for the costs of raising a kid. However, this is not to be confused with spousal support, which is meant only to help an ex-spouse pay for necessities not related to being a parent. If you are rewarded child support by the court, you will still need to make a case and fight for spousal maintenance or alimony.
  5. What are the main factors a court considers when assigning child custody?
    If you and your spouse cannot create a child custody agreement that you both agree works, the court makes that call for you. It will consider the child’s age and health and that of both parents primarily, but the income and lifestyle of each parent is also critical. Other factors that will be weighed include, but are not limited to, the child’s school, current standing of living, and also what parent the child prefers, assuming the child is old enough to make that decision without outside influence.

More questions? Our Madison divorce attorneys have the answers! Contact us today.