Custody misconceptions might ultimately harm kids

Experts say that children in Texas and all across the U.S. are at risk of suffering from other people's mistaken beliefs concerning how child custody works. Many people labor under the incorrect assumption that child custody arrangements offer more protection than they actually do. In some cases, court systems even make misguided custody decisions that result in children being turned over to abusive parents.

Parenting experts say that some parents will try to utilize their vulnerable children as bargaining chips in ongoing custody battles. Those who study the issue also note that there are developmental risks associated with allowing young children to spend nights in the care of adults who aren't their primary caregivers.

Physical violence and abuse are problems for many American families, and experiencing such events as a child could result in a lifetime of post-traumatic stress. Unfortunately, advocacy groups maintain that existing custody laws have failed a significant number of domestic abuse victims who weren't permitted to keep their children for various reasons. Being an abuse victim may even work against some parents when courts deem them unfit to care for their kids because of factors like depression.

Gaining child custody may seem like a daunting task, especially when one is faced with a contentious separation or an abusive ex who stands in the way. Parents who want to look after their children's best interests may have to work hard to establish that they're suitable custodians and prove their arguments in formal courtroom settings. Depending on the nuances of their cases, judges could ask them for various forms of evidence that might be difficult to gather and file properly. Those who have the assistance of an attorney may find it easier to keep their cases organized.

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