If you are thinking about divorcing your spouse and you will be going through a child custody fight for the first time, there are a few things you should know. There are many misunderstandings about child custody. Some of them stem from not knowing what the law is, but in many instances, the laws have simply changed over time to reflect our changing culture. The following are only a few examples of this.

Your sex life is not an issue

This was much more of an issue many years ago, but today, unless it can be demonstrated that your sexual behavior is detrimental to a child's well being, it simply is not an issue. In the past, one spouse might attempt to use infidelity as a reason to deny custody to his or her spouse. However, today, this is rarely an issue. If you are concerned about this, you should bring up the issue with your attorney. However, only in rare situations is this an issue for denying custody.

Income doesn't play a big part

Sometimes one spouse will make a lot more money than the other spouse, but this usually isn't a big factor. What counts is the welfare of the child. There are specific things a court looks at. One example is continuity in the child's life. One spouse may make less money, but if the child will remain in the same neighborhood, attend the same school, and have the same friends, this can be a large factor in determining custody. The amount of material things that a child may get by living with the spouse with the larger income isn't necessarily in a child's interest. If one parent makes a lot of money and is not awarded custody, they will simply be paying more in child support.

The mother doesn't always get custody

Many years ago, the mother almost always got custody, but today, things have changed. What a family court is looking at is which spouse is doing the most parenting. Parenting is one of the biggest factors in deciding what is in the best interest of the child. In some instances, there may be a joint custody, but the courts do not like to disrupt a child's life with this type of arrangement. Instead of joint custody, one parent will be given custody, but the non-custodial parent will be given a large amount of visitation. Family court judges want the non-custodial parent to be a part of the child's life.

Ultimately, you need to consult with a family attorney, so you will know exactly what the laws are in your state. Knowing how the laws apply specifically to your circumstances will give you a better chance at being a part of your child's life after a divorce. To learn more, reach out to professionals like Hertz & Kearns.