Child custody battles can get messy quickly. And while there are no magic formulas that can ensure your custody case will go well, there are mistakes you can keep in mind if you’d like the custody battle to go as well as it possibly can. Here are some of the common mistakes you should avoid during a child custody battle.
1. Working alone
One of the first things you should do when dealing with a child custody case is looking up the “best child custody lawyer near me”. Many parents make the mistake of trying to handle a custody battle alone, but there is a lot a good lawyer can do to make the process smoother for you and your family.
Lawyers can be helpful by helping you deal with the legal issues related to child custody, but also by providing advice based on wisdom and experience. After all, there’s a good chance you’ve never dealt with a child custody battle before, while an experienced lawyer will have dealt with this issue hundreds of times before.
2. Alienating your ex
It doesn’t matter who hurt who or who you believe is in the wrong. Antagonizing and alienating your ex will only make custody disputes harder and more complicated. So do your best to keep things civil with your former partner, and cooperate whenever it is both possible and reasonable to do so. Unless your lawyer advises you to do otherwise on a specific issue, of course.
And if your former partner is actively attacking you and trying to make things difficult, it might be possible for you to document their behavior to use as evidence later. So make sure you discuss it with your lawyer.
3. Messing up visiting rights
Issues with visiting rights will always cast a bad light on the parent who caused them. If an agreement has been reached on visiting hours and days, you should follow that agreement strictly. This means showing up on time and making sure everything is in order when picking up and dropping off your kids. And not playing any games with time changes and delays when the other parent is set to get the kids.
Make sure everything runs properly. And if some emergency interferes with your plans in this regard, make sure to collect evidence of the emergency, should you need to prove its existence later.
4. Venting in public
While talking about issues and frustrations is a healthy way to deal with charged situations, be careful of where you choose to vent. Badmouthing your former partner will only antagonize them more should those words ever reach them. And any rants you post online can not only end up being seen by your partner but they can even be used against you in court in some cases.
If you need to talk, go to a therapist, join a support group, or look for online communities where you can remain anonymous.
5. Disrespecting the court
Appearances matter a lot in child custody cases. And if you frequently show up hungover or underdressed to court appointments, or frequently fail to follow the court’s mandates correctly, you will be painting yourself in a very negative light.
Dress sharp, be punctual, and be polite — the more you look like a responsible and caring adult, the better. This principle applies both when dealing with the court and when dealing with your former partner.