The divorce rate in the US is at an all-time high, and these often lead to child custody disputes when couples have children. While the majority of these disputes are settled out of court, the ones going to trial can often get ugly and complicated. The court's decision is about the best interests of the child, but the case can be emotionally draining for parents and painful for the kids. Ideally, parents should avoid getting into a battle over their children, but it does not always happen in real life.
Parents dispute even if they want the best for their kids and have good intentions. The worst part is that you may make several blunders as a parent fighting for the legal right to be the custodian of your children. Even small errors may have a huge price, so you must be aware and vigilant enough to steer clear of them. Here are the blunders that may complicate your child custody case.
Blunder #1- Denigrating your partner
The thought of losing custody of your child is unbearable, and you may end up with negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and depression. But dragging a child into the negativity between you and your partner is the worst way to deal with the situation. Avoid denigrating your partner by speaking ill about them in front of your child. Also, keep anyone else out of the situation. Besides causing stress to your child, the behavior can affect your chances of getting a favorable verdict in court.
Blunder #2- Refusing to cooperate or compromise
Another mistake you must absolutely avoid is refusing to cooperate or compromise with your partner. It often gives the wrong impression to the judge that getting back to your spouse matters more than the best interests of your child. Moreover, the behavior also seems to set a negative example for your kids, and the court sees you as an irresponsible parent. Focus on a constructive dialogue with your ex-partner so that you can resolve the dispute at the earliest and limit the stress for your family in the long run.
Blunder #3- Disregarding court orders
When a custody case goes to trial, the court takes over an authoritative role. Both parties need to follow any orders it issues to the letter. Experts at The Law Offices of Aimee E. Cain emphasize the perils of disregarding court orders in these cases because they can have dire consequences. In fact, you may even lose the battle even before fighting it to the end. Remember that the judge has your child’s best interests in mind, so you shouldn’t have second thoughts about obeying their orders.
Blunder #4- Overlooking the best interest of your kids
Child custody cases are about ensuring a decision favoring children instead of parents. Anything going against the mindset is a red flag for the court, and it reduces the chances of getting a favorable verdict. Make sure your decisions and actions prioritize the best for your kids instead of your own desires. A legal expert can guide you in this context, so having them on board sooner than later can help you steer clear of the blunder.
Blunder #5- Missing out on key evidence related to the case
Missing out on key evidence related to the child custody case is another blunder parents should avoid. Like any type of litigation, these cases also depend on evidence proving your facts. For example, you must note details regarding the conversations you had with your ex and detailed financial documents. If your partner was abusive, you can highlight the fact through pictures of your injuries in court. The proof is enough to establish that your children will not be safe with them.
Blunder #6- Withholding visitation
You cannot stop your partner from meeting the kids unless you have a court order for the same. Of course, you may do it if the other parent poses a danger to your child. Withholding visitation except for such circumstances can land you in trouble down the line. But remember that you can do it only if there are real and immediate threats. Consult your lawyer before going against the visitation schedule set by the court.
Avoiding these mistakes can strengthen your case and give you better chances of getting custody of your child. You can steer clear of them by being aware and mindful, keeping your emotions under control, and following a common sense approach. Most importantly, collaborate with a seasoned attorney so that you can seek and follow their advice from start to end.