If you are in the middle of a child custody dispute, you are probably already keenly aware that no other legal matter will ever be as emotionally overwhelming as this. Due to the sensitive nature of such cases, it is often easy to let your emotions get the best of you, driving your decision-making in detrimental ways. Therefore, it is essential for you to keep your feelings in check as you go through this process in order to avoid making costly mistakes.
The Mistakes You Need to Avoid
Not everything is preventable, but mistakes can usually be avoided if you keep a level head and make informed decisions.
Below are some of the mistakes you would do well to avoid during your child custody case:
- Putting your emotions in the driver’s seat: Yes, this is an emotional time, but that does not mean your emotions should rule over all of your decisions and actions. To the contrary, now is the time to let them take a backseat and, instead, heed your attorney’s advice.
- Neglecting your children: If you are trying to convince a judge that you deserve custody of your children, then you need to actually show that your time with them is important to you. If you have scheduled visitation with them, do not flake out on them! Take every opportunity to see them, support them, and maintain your bond with them. Otherwise, if you appear to be a neglectful parent, you can bet a judge will not award you a favorable custody arrangement.
- Badmouthing your spouse: Never forget that family courts prefer the continued involvement of both parents when it comes to child custody arrangements. If one parent is not being supportive of the other’s relationship by trying to poison the children against him or her, this will influence a judge’s decision. You need to be careful with what you say in front of your children because, even if you do not mean for it to have an impact on them, they will be affected by what you say. No matter how angry you are at your spouse, you will not gain anything by telling your children how terrible their parent is.
- Do not move out of the marital home: It will not be easy to continue to live with your spouse during the divorce process, but moving out and leaving your children behind will send the wrong message to a judge. Your spouse will appear to be the primary caregiver for your children and a judge will be reluctant to disrupt their routine.
- Dating before the divorce is finalized: Jumping back into the dating scene will undoubtedly take up some of your time and attention, especially if you end up finding a new steady partner. If your new partner has a questionable history and you are already trying to introduce your children to him or her, this could have an impact on your custody case. At the very least, a judge might doubt your dedication to your children since you are spending too much time putting your needs before theirs.
Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney Today!
At Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Graff, our child custody attorneys are committed to helping families navigate the most sensitive and complex legal matters they will likely ever face.
Contact our law office today at (805) 633-4999 to schedule a free and confidential case review.