Child custody disputes can be incredibly contentious and emotionally challenging affairs, the outcome of which can be severely impacted by your actions during the course of the case.
Below we have outlined four detrimental mistakes that could potentially sabotage your case and prevent you from achieving a favorable outcome. Avoid making these mistakes at all costs, and please keep in mind that this blog is not intended as legal advice for your individual situation. If you are facing a child custody dispute, contact the attorneys at Pacific Cascade Family Law so that we can evaluate your unique circumstances and advise you on the best course of action.
1) Committing a crime
Child custody determinations are all about the best interests of the child. If you are charged with or convicted of a crime, or you are even arrested during a custody battle without being charged, it could be precisely the ammunition the other parent requires to demonstrate you are unfit to have custody or potentially even visitation rights. As a parent, it is always important to stay out for trouble for the sake of your children, but it is exceptionally important that you not get caught up in legal trouble during a custody battle.
2) Losing your cool
We understand how emotional and potentially contentious child custody battles can be. However, it is absolutely vital that you maintain a cool demeanor as much as possible, particularly in the presence of your children, the other parent, the other parent’s attorney, or the judge. You cannot afford to lose your cool and yell or act aggressively in any way. This will most assuredly be used against you in order to show that you are unstable or could be a danger to your kids. If you are angry and you need an outlet, utilize counseling or other constructive outlets like exercise.
3) Alienating the other parent
Courts tend to default towards the assumption that it is better for children to interact with both of their parents. If you attempt to keep your child away from the other parent without a very good reason—such as the other parent being a danger to the child—it will reflect poorly on you and your willingness to coparent, which will certainly hurt your case for custody. Additionally, if you bad mouth the other parent to your children and try to turn your kids against their other parent, this could be considered Parental Alienation which is both psychologically damaging for your child and harmful to your chances of achieving a favorable outcome in your custody case.
4) Violating a court order
If the court issues any orders whatsoever, you must adhere to those orders no matter what. Simply disagreeing with a judge’s decision to require you to pay temporary child custody for the duration of the case is not a good enough reason not to pay it. A failure to adhere to a court order will be extremely damaging to your custody case.
If you are a parent facing a child custody dispute and a potential court battle, it is absolutely essential that you enlist the services of a skilled family law attorney. Contact Pacific Cascade Family Law today and let us fight to protect your parental rights.