While divorce is typically hard, it’s even harder when kids are involved. You have to deal with the emotional turmoil of separating from someone you thought would be a lifetime partner and also battle for custody of your kids. Very few people can think and act straight under such circumstances, and as such, it’s not uncommon to make impulsive decisions that jeopardize your chance at custody. That is why we’ve outlined the top child custody mistakes to avoid.
What Not to Do During a Custody Battle
Although child custody battles can be quite intense, avoiding the following mistakes increases your winning chances or helps you get favorable terms from the case:
- Not Hiring a Professional Attorney
It would be best if you did not represent yourself during a custody battle. With tension and emotions running high, you may lose your cool in front of the judge or make impulsive decisions that’ll negatively impact your case.
When you seek help with child custody issues, you avoid such scenarios. That’s essential, because experienced attorneys are professionally trained on the issue and will have handled similar cases themselves.
What’s more, an attorney lacks emotional ties with the case. That means their advice will be professional and logical, and you won’t have to worry about emotional mistakes affecting your child custody.
- Negatively Painting the Other Parent and Using the Kid(s) as Spies
Unlike in the past, when maternal presumption laws favored mothers as primary caregivers, current family laws favor what’s best for the child. In most cases, what’s best for the child is the stability they gain from the involvement and support of both parents in their lives.
In that light, talking badly about your partner to the child as a way to make them choose you greatly hurts your chances of ever getting custody. Also, using your kid(s) to dig up dirt on your ex-partner can negatively affect your case.
If the court ever finds out you’re doing either, it’ll be used against you – and it’s enough reason to change, reject, or even revoke a proposed custody agreement.
- Not Being a Parent
To determine what’s best for the child, family courts review not only your ability to provide, but also whether you’re an active participant in your child’s life.
Attending your son’s baseball game, playing house with your daughter, helping your kids with homework, and being there when they’re hurt are a few things that improve your shot at custody. But if the most you do with your kids is take them for ice cream and to the movies once a month, you may be given limited visitation.
- Disregarding or Violating Court Orders
Although it sounds obvious, disregarding and violating court rules is a surprisingly common child custody mistake. Unfortunately, it’s a costly mistake that may see you lose custody permanently. So, when the court orders you to take a parenting class, by all means, cooperate. If the court establishes a temporary custody order, comply with the parameters. This is because something as simple and harmless as failing to pick up or drop off your children to your ex-partner could negatively impact the case.
- Withholding Visitation
As noted, family courts nowadays believe kids benefit when both parents are in the picture. That said, denying your spouse visitation to get back at them is a child custody mistake to avoid. Withholding visitation only makes you seem incapable of co-parenting, which may result in an unfavorable outcome. Unless you have a valid reason, don’t deny your ex-spouse the right to child access.
- Airing Your Dirty Laundry on Social Media
Trash talking to your ex-partner on Facebook or Twitter can feel like a great way to vent your frustrations, but it’s what not to do during a custody battle. Although posting your pictures while partying may seem like a great way to get back at your ex-partner, refrain from doing that. Posts like these may be why you lose custody, especially if they depict that your continued access will be detrimental to the kids’ wellbeing.
Seek Help with Child Custody Issues from a Professional
Child custody is an incredibly delicate, complex issue. As an average Joe with a lot on your plate during this time, you may make child custody mistakes that’ll negatively affect the case. Getting professional help is the best approach possible. Get in touch with our team today to schedule a consultation.