No one ever expects their marriage to end in divorce. But unfortunately, this is a reality for many couples across the country. And while any divorce can be emotionally devastating, this is especially true if you and your partner have children together.
Although many parents can come to some kind of agreement about their child custody and support arrangement moving forward, other ex-spouses can turn contentious and greedy during this time. In the latter scenario, this does not often work in the parent’s (or the child’s) favor. Child custody lawyers can keep the situation from getting out-of-hand in court, but there are still some mistakes that divorcing parents make on their own that can impact their ability to be granted or to retain custody. As such, here are three mistakes you’ll want to avoid in order for your child custody case to reach the best possible resolution.
MISTAKE: Posting Irresponsibly on Social Media
Social media can provide a wealth of opportunities to connect with others — but that isn’t always a good thing. You might feel tempted to vent to your friends on Facebook or followers on Instagram about your pending divorce or all of the ways in which your ex-partner has harmed you. But you need to resist that urge, as anyone could theoretically use that information against you. The same goes for posting anything that could make you out to be an unfit parent (such as evidence of intoxication or drug use). You need to be extremely careful about what you post and make sure that any details you share about your divorce or your child custody case stay between you and very few trusted parties.
MISTAKE: Ignoring a Court Order or Withholding Visitation
Sometimes, a judge will put a temporary visitation schedule in place during the early stages of your case or in extenuating circumstances. Failing to adhere to this court order will be frowned upon by the judge, as you’ll be disregarding the judge’s authority — and that won’t do you any favors. You may not like it, but unless there’s an urgent reason to disobey a court order, you’ll need to follow it for the time being. Withholding visitation from the other parent falls under the same category. Only 44% of custodial parents receive the full amount of child support, but failing to receive child support may not be a valid reason to withhold visitation. Unless there is an immediate and visible threat to your child’s well-being (such as unsanitary living conditions or abuse), you cannot cut off the other parent’s visitation rights without a court order. In both instances, you should consult with child custody lawyers before going against what the court has laid out for visitation schedules and other agreements.
MISTAKE: Fighting With Your Ex or Refusing to Compromise
Your divorce may be heated, but it’s important to keep your personal feelings out of the equation as much as possible. If you fight with your former spouse in front of your kids, refuse to cooperate, or engage in trash-talking your ex while your children are around, you might end up signaling to the judge that your children aren’t actually your top priority. Cool heads will prevail here — so do everything in your power to keep things civil and to keep your kids out of the fight.
Although we mentioned this post would contain three mistakes to avoid, there’s one other important mistake we’d be remiss to leave out: failing to work with child custody lawyers. You may think that you and your former spouse can solve this problem on your own, but even amicable divorces can become complicated when you share children. It’s within your best interests — and more importantly, the bests interests of your children — to ensure rights are protected and that your child custody case goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.
Your child custody lawyers can make certain that every detail is squared away and that you receive the guidance you need for a successful case resolution. If you’re going through a divorce and children are involved, we’re here to help. Contact our firm today for more information or to schedule a consultation.