Custody battles are almost always incredibly tenuous situations. The slightest misstep can result in irreparable harm to your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your child custody case.
In today’s blog we have detailed seven mistakes in particular which could easily serve to sabotage your case. Please keep in mind, this blog is not intended as legal advice for your unique circumstances. Always consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney regarding the best course of action for your specific situation.
Don’t lose your cool
Getting in any sort of confrontation with the other parent is never a good idea. When things escalate, and you yell or act threateningly or even resort to any sort of violence, it is a surefire way to hurt your chances of achieving your custody goals.
Don’t openly criticize or bad mouth
Social media will become one of your worst enemies when you are faced with a custody dispute. Openly criticizing the other parent and trying to make them out to be a monster will likely not work in your favor. Ranting on the internet or to other people or even to a judge will likely reflect worse on your character than it will your spouse. Avoid talking about the case outside of court, and when you are in court you should always stick to facts and hard evidence over opinions.
Don’t manipulate your kids
At best, manipulating your kids against their other parent will only make it much more difficult for them to cope with the painful changes occurring in their lives. At worst, your actions could be considered Parental Alienation and aside from traumatizing your kids could cause you to lose custody or visitation rights.
If the court catches you lying, even about something insignificant, they will likely brand you as a liar and assume you have lied about other more important information. Be forthright and honest throughout the proceedings.
Don’t ignore a court order
If the court orders some sort of temporary child custody arrangement or orders you to pay child support, you absolutely cannot ignore or fail to follow those orders. Court orders are law, and no matter how much you may disagree with them, failing to follow them is going to cause serious harm to your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your case.
Don’t break the law
In custody cases, the biggest concern for the courts will be the best interests of the child. If you break the law while you are in the middle of a custody dispute, it will be very easy for an opposing attorney to brand you as a danger to the child’s wellbeing, even if your infraction was very minor. Make sure you stay out of trouble during your case and after.
Don’t forget to put your kids first
It can be easy to get caught up in the emotion of a child custody dispute and forget the reason you are fighting for custody: your kids. Always try to put yourself in your kids’ shoes and understand what will be best for them, even if it isn’t your first choice. You may hate their other parent, but perhaps it would still be best for your child if he or she remains a part of their life. The court will make its rulings on custody with the best interests of your child in mind, and you should always do the same.
If you are facing a child custody dispute, please contact Hensley Legal Services today and let us fight to protect your rights as a parent, and the best interests of your children.