Separating from a domestic partner or spouse is usually a painful process, and most adults want to get through it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, when children are involved, the separation process can be more prolonged and contentious. Both parties often hope for custody of their child for emotional, personal, and (in some cases) financial reasons.
Throughout a custody battle, both parents are scrutinized by the court since a judge or neutral mediator are primarily interested in what placement would be in the child’s best interest. During your fight for custody, it is important to avoid sabotaging your custody chances, as any mistake on your part may be used against you by your ex-spouse’s attorney or viewed negatively by a judge. The following are examples of ways that you could accidentally sabotage your case.
Criticizing the Spouse Publicly
After a divorce or separation, being able to openly discuss the faults of your former spouse is often exhilarating. Talking about his or her bad habits or the problems he or she caused during your marriage is part of the healing process and is sometimes used as a coping mechanism when a person is having second thoughts about ending the relationship. However, there is a difference between venting privately with a friend and publicly criticizing your former spouse.
Avoid posting things on social media, in emails, or in other formats that could be publicized and seen by your children. Disparaging comments that are made on social media might be used against you if the other parent accuses you of attempting to alienate him or her from mutual children.
Taking the Children Out of the Area Without Telling the Other Parent
Every parent dreams of being able to surprise his or her children with vacations to Disney World or other popular destinations. Though you may avoid telling your spouse about vacation plans solely to keep the trip a surprise, when you are going through a divorce that involves a custody dispute, it is not a good idea to indulge in unannounced trips.
Leaving the state without talking to the other parent first may be construed as an attempt to kidnap the children. Going out of town with children without obtaining the permission of the other parent could cost you the ability to have parenting time while the custody case is still pending.
Custody and parenting time decisions are not about you, they are able to the children and what will ultimately be best for them. Making demands that are unrealistic decreases your chances of getting custody or the visitation schedule of your choice. Parents who have many commitments that routinely keep them away from children’s extracurricular activities may have a difficult time proving to a judge that they can truly handle being full-time single parents.
Take your schedule into consideration, focus on the needs of the children, and be realistic when asking for custody. If you do have a busy work schedule, be prepared to explain child care plans, how your child feels about the arrangement you propose, and be willing to accept the suggestions of the court.
Lawrence Law Office
Going through a divorce that involves determining the custody of a minor child is difficult and often stressful. The assistance of a qualified attorney can help you preserve your parental rights and make sure the final agreement is in the best interest of your child.
The child custody attorneys at Lawrence Law Office are able to help you during this time by providing you with the representation you deserve. You can contact their conveniently located Columbus, Ohio office at 614-228-3664 today to schedule a consultation.