ways your hurt your own case

Mistakes That Hurt Child Custody

Goldberg Jones Child Custody, Featured Posts Leave a Comment

Legal matters tend to be complicated. It’s easy to get lost or even just miss a small detail along the way. This happens all the time in divorce and family law cases.

One area where slip-ups can be especially costly is in child custody disputes. Too often, blunders or errors in judgment have huge ramifications. With that in mind, here are seven common mistakes that hurt child custody cases.

1. Moving Out of the Family Home

While it seems like an obvious choice to move out of a shared home, these often become mistakes that hurt child custody cases. You may want nothing to do with your soon-to-be-ex, but flying the coop can have an impact in the future. Leaving children behind reflects poorly on your ability and dedication as a parent. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant, that’s how it often looks. It’s often worth staying put to strengthen your base.

2. Not Spending Time With The Kids

It’s difficult to argue that you’re the best parenting option and that you truly have the best interests of the kids in mind if you never spend time with them. Again, it looks bad in the eyes of the court and may make you appear disinterested in being a parent. If you have a visitation scheduled, make sure you show up. Also, keep a record of all the time you spend with the kids. That way, if your ex tries to argue that you don’t spend enough time with the children, you can refute those claims.

3. Refusing to Cooperate

In most situations, the court views having both parents in a child’s life as the best scenario. So, unless there are drastic circumstances, you’ll likely have a type of shared custody arrangement. This means there will have to be some level of communication and contact with your ex. The two of you have to set up schedules and generally work together to raise your child. Being unwilling to cooperate is one of the most common mistakes that hurts child custody cases. It’s important to put your differences aside and focus on what’s important: the kids. Put your attention on them, they need it, not your ex.

4. Badmouthing Your Ex

There are bound to be hurt feelings and raging emotions. Especially when it involves children, things tend to get heated. But going around badmouthing your ex, online as well as in the real world, only hurts child custody cases. The court may consider this when determining custody or visitation. When called to testify, don’t just take the chance to trash talk your ex. Make it about you, your kids, your relationship; make it about why you’re a great parent, not just why your ex is a bad one.

5. Violating Temporary Custody Orders

During contentious custody hearings, it’s common for the court to issue temporary custody orders. These lay out where the children stay, visitation, and who has the decision-making power for the time being. Common mistakes that hurt child custody cases also include disobeying these orders. If you have the kids for the weekend, make sure to get them back on time. Stick to the program. You can’t suddenly decide to take them to visit your parents out of state without clearing it first. Refusing to play along not only makes you look difficult, violating these decrees has a negative impact.

6. Fail To Pay Child Support

Like with temporary custody orders, it’s not uncommon for the court to award temporary child support. Not only does the choice to ignore payments look bad for you, it constitutes contempt. You may face fines or even jail time. Outside of those concerns, it doesn’t make you look like stable, concerned parent. Child support payments are designed to do just what the name says: support children. If their best interest is truly your concern, that shows.

One other thing. When making payments, make sure leave a paper trail. Use checks, bank transfers or similar trackable methods. That way, your ex can’t later say you didn’t pay. Also, don’t claim you can’t pay, then show up in court in an expensive new car or post Facebook pictures of yourself on elaborate vacations.

7. Losing Your Cool

Emotions run high, but it’s important to keep them in check. Similar to not badmouthing your ex all over town, don’t threaten anyone, don’t break anything that isn’t yours, and don’t lose your cool. It’s okay to be frustrated, that’s bound to happen, but common mistakes that hurt child custody cases like lashing out only damage your position. Not only that, it can harm your relationship with your children. Again, it’s about the kids; it’s about being as big a part of their lives as possible. Keep that goal in mind.

Child custody cases are huge, not just for you, but also for your children. How they play out also has a lasting impact on your relationship moving forward. There’s bound to be friction, and tempers often flare, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that hurt child custody cases.

These are just a few common mistakes that hurt child custody cases and there are many, many others. In general, it benefits you to stay as calm as possible and approach every situation in a rational, logical manner.

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