Family law court can be an emotional and difficult place to be, but it doesn’t have to be. Houston family law attorneys knows the court system inside and out and will do everything in their power to make sure that you have your side of the story heard before it’s too late. These 5 biases show up in family law court all the time, and if you know about them ahead of time, you can save yourself quite a bit of stress (and money).
1) The Myth of a 50/50 Custody Split
One of the most prevalent myths about custody is that judges want to see parents split their children’s time evenly. While 50/50 splits are sometimes used as a starting point for negotiations, there is no rule stating that judges will automatically choose an equal custody arrangement. Sometimes it might work best for one parent to have primary custody with liberal visitation rights for both parents; other times, a judge may opt to use his or her discretion and hand full control over to one parent.
2) Ignoring Parental Preference
Of course, most of these biases can be prevented by a clear understanding of what your local legal system is and isn’t willing to consider. For instance, if you’re a parent who regularly chooses to stay home with your children rather than sending them off to daycare, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when it comes time for custody decisions; but that doesn’t mean those choices are wrong or inferior; it just means that courts don’t necessarily understand why parents choose certain paths.
3) Underestimating Effects of Parental Alienation
Parental alienation is real may sound like a statement from a 1950s sitcom, but it’s actually a very serious issue. When one parent tries to convince a child that he or she doesn’t have to live with or speak to another parent, they are engaging in what is known as parental alienation.
4) Standardized Assessment Bias
Many lawyers fail to look beyond standardized assessments when recommending what they believe to be an appropriate custody arrangement in the Houston family law. Often, these tests and questionnaires result in only one option: joint legal custody (where both parents share equal decision-making rights and equal involvement in their children’s lives).
5) Un-Cashed Life Insurance Policies
Before your mother passed away, she named you as a beneficiary to her life insurance policy. Unfortunately, you haven’t been able to find it. Now that she’s gone, and you want to cash out her life insurance policy, there’s one big problem: You don’t know where your mom kept it.