Emotions often run high during child custody proceedings. In their emotional state, parents often make poor choices that that can cost them custody of their child. Even if acting with good intentions, you should take care to avoid the following common pitfalls—or risk losing custody of your child.
1) Taking your children without notice.
In order to make the right decision about child custody, the court wants to see that you respect the other parent (and the court itself). When you take your children away without telling your ex-spouse—even if you’re just taking them to the park—you demonstrate exactly the opposite. Taking your kids away from the other parent is a serious red flag for judges, and it may even result in your arrest. Make reasonable choices.
2) Venting on social media.
You may be tempted to use social media as a forum to badmouth your ex-spouse, vent your frustrations, or even to post pictures of your life to show everyone how well you’re doing. Unfortunately, a judge or your ex partner’s attorney may be able to use your public posts against you in court. For example, speaking poorly of your ex, looking intoxicated in a picture, or appearing unstable can all reflect badly on your ability to care for your kids.
3) Leaving your marital home.
While this advice is not right for everyone, you should do your best to stay in the marital home. It could be an advantage in your custody battle. Some judges believe that child custody and the home go hand-in-hand. If you leave the house without taking the kids with you, it leaves the judge to wonder why. If your spouse is abusive, you should seek a protective order to have them removed from the marital home.
4) Putting yourself first.
It may be difficult to hear, but because your children are innocent in this dispute, you should avoid prioritizing your needs above theirs. The law requires courts make custody decisions that are in the child’s best interests. Focus on being a responsible and loving parent, showing the court that your kids can live healthy, safe, and happy lives under your care. That you can and will make good decisions.
Please remember, always appear to be the most reasonable and rational parent.
If you need individual advice you should contact the dedicated attorneys at BEDLAM LAW. Because every family is different, our lawyers believe in taking a creative, individualized approach to every new case. Let us put our extensive skills to work for your family.