Are you involved in a child custody case? Your actions both during and out of legal proceedings. Here are 7 mistakes that can hurt your child custody case.
In a perfect world, divorced couples would act in the best interest of the child and share visitations fairly. Unfortunately, in reality, custody battles can get ugly and people find themself fighting for bare minimum basics.
If this happens to you, do you know how to handle yourself during the proceedings to avoid hurting your own case? Do not stand in your own way in court during your child custody case.
7 Child Custody Case Mistakes to Avoid
Stay smart and get in the know. Read on to learn 7 damaging mistakes to avoid during child custody court cases.
1. Tasteless Social Media Posts
Do not get reckless on social media. It can and will bite back at you in court.
Even if you blocked your ex, things tend to find a way to trickle back. Not everybody you ‘friend’ is actually your friend.
Things to stay away from include:
- Rants about your custody case
- Tasteless jokes that might get turned into something more serious
- Anything violent
- Derogatory remarks
- Bad pictures of your ex
- Pictures of you doing anything questionable
If you mindlessly post things often, then maybe you should keep away from social media until the case closes. One screenshot can potentially hinder your relationship with your child.
Some people simply cannot keep themselves off of social media. In this case, post inspiration, positivity, interesting articles, and family-friendly pictures.
2. Angry Texts or Emails
Refrain from texting back when you feel angry. Even if they bait you, and even if you feel justified, just don’t.
One angry message can turn you into a monster because nobody is keeping tabs on all of the kind and thoughtful texts you send. If you say something bad enough in the heat of the moment, you may look unstable, dangerous, or unfit to care for your own child when it gets brought to the judge in your child custody hearing.
Conflict research suggests using self-distancing to detach yourself from the situation and give yourself time to process it objectively. If they provoke you often and you must communicate, ignore harsh remarks and calmly state what you need.
3. Acting Selfishly
Look at what you want to ask the court for. Ask yourself if it serves your child and if it offers fair conditions for the other parent.
If you said no to either question, then reevaluate. Your requests should meet your child’s needs, keep them safe and comfortable, and cause as little interference into their life as possible.
The court will see right through you if your request is geared towards your comfort dissatisfaction rather than your child’s. They will consider your selfishness as something potentially harmful.
4. Bashing the Other Parent
You do not need to like your ex at all. But, remember that your child loves them.
Attempting to make your child see their parent from your point of view, or convincing them not to love your ex is abusive. Parent bashing leads your child to feel shame and confusion about their feelings and can cause life long problems for them.
Do not directly bash their other parent to them or talk negatively about them with other people where your child may overhear. If your child asks why you do not love them, answer with age-appropriate honesty, without being mean or harmful to their relationship with them.
If the judge learns of parent bashing with your child, it will dramatically hurt your child custody case. They do not care if everything you say is true, because it only hurts kids.
5. Ignoring Court Orders
Whether old or recent child custody cases, do not ignore standing orders made by the court. This is not only bad for your current or recent case, but it is actually illegal and punishable by law.
If your situation changes in any way, contact the court right away. If you feel that the current situation does not reflect your child’s best interest, file for an adjustment.
Do not decide to change things on your own terms, because it will not work out well for you. The judge may lessen your time with your child and possibly throw you in jail for contempt of court.
6. Not Keeping Tabs
For the sake of your child, you should not want this custody court case to get ugly. But, in the event that it does, you need proof if the other parent acts unfit in any way.
This does not mean that you need to stalk them to find dirt where it does not exist, because this will annoy the court more than it will help you. But, if they do things the court should know about, keep an exact record.
For instance, you want to mention exact details about them:
- Not showing up for scheduled visitations
- Not allowing you your visitation
- Angry texts, emails, phone calls, etc.
- Child neglect or abuse
Create a journal to log these things. You can balance it out with positivity by also logging every time you show up at scheduled times, call your child, do fun activities together, etc.
7. Representing Yourself
Do not try to represent yourself in court. Hire a skilled attorney to represent your child custody court cases.
You will get lost trying to navigate court dates, visitation schedules, and legal paperwork all on your own. Plus, an attorney advises you and serves as your voice in court, ensuring that you do not say or do something that can kill your entire case.
Whatever money you save in legal fees by representing yourself, you will lose out on time trying to figure it all out.
Hire a Family Attorney Today!
The relationship you keep with your little one means everything. So, your child custody case is too important to fail.
To help your case, follow these tips, cooperate with the court, focus on being the best parent possible, and have a family attorney on your side.
We want to help you reach the best solution. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you!