Fatal Mistakes in Custody Cases
Child custody is the most challenging aspect of a divorce for many divorcing couples. You must know what to do but more importantly what not to do in a custody case. Below you will find ten “don’ts” in a custody case.
Child custody is decided based on the best interest of the child standard. The court evaluates factors such as the status quo (i.e. with whom do the children currently reside), the length of time the living arrangements have been in place, visitation times already in place, the willingness of each parent to support the other parent’s parental role and involvement (and any evidence to the contrary), children’s wishes (if age appropriate), evidence of abuse, evidence of addictions and others.
So, what are some of the fatal mistakes that a parent can make during a custody case?
1) Do not alienate the children against the other parent
2) Do not interfere with the other parent’s contact with the children
3) Do not engage in abusive behavior in front of the children or the other parent (i.e. no yelling, grabbing, pushing, swearing)
4) Do not abuse alcohol, drugs, or any other substances
5) Do not badmouth the other parent to teachers, friends, neighbors, co-workers
6) Do not violate court orders
7) Do not make unilateral decisions about the children’s health and school issues if there are no orders or if there is a joint legal custody temporary order
8) Do not file false reports of domestic violence of abuse
9) Do not ask the children to testify against the other parent
10) Do not hire an attorney that will stoke the fire