How you handle yourself during child custody proceedings will affect your parental rights and relationship with your children for years to come. Parents hoping to preserve the relationship with their children will need to ask for shared custody or sometimes sole custody if they believe such arrangements are necessary for the safety of their children.
As you prepare for court proceedings and develop your custody strategy, it is crucial that you actively seek to avoid the most common custody mistakes that parents make. Any of the four behaviors below could hurt your chances of a favorable custody outcome.
Fighting with the other parent
It is natural to feel angry at your ex or hurt by their behavior, but you cannot let your emotions dictate your behaviors. The more frequently you fight with your ex, the harder it will be for you to co-parent later.
Additionally, the tension between you can cause emotional harm to the children. Finally, what you say or email your ex in a fight could make you look really bad if they use that as evidence in court later.
Alienating the other parent
Parental alienation has become one of the most serious issues in modern custody matters. One parent cancels the parenting time of the other and prevents them from seeing or even communicating with the children. They will also talk poorly about the other parents and make the children feel like they need to take sides.
Parental alienation harms the relationship the children have with their parents and can damage their mental health. If your ex can accuse you of parental alienation, the courts may limit your custody rights as a result.
Sharing the details on social media
Especially before you have a custody order in place, it is dangerous to talk about your legal matters on social media. Your ex can use whatever you stare online as evidence in their case, including disparaging remarks that you make about them or comments that make you seem like a bad parent.
Keeping the custody and divorce matters for your family off of social media will prevent your ex from gathering ammunition to use against you.
Not getting an attorney
Although divorces and custody disputes are common occurrences, that doesn’t mean that the average person has the knowledge, emotional tenacity or experience necessary to handle negotiations or court proceedings appropriately. You will be at a major disadvantage if you try to handle custody litigation without representation, especially if your ex has a lawyer representing them.
Avoiding these all-too-common mistakes will help you build a strong case in your custody matters.