June 28, 2018
3 Things Not To Do In Your Custody Case
Q: What could interfere with my chances of getting custody of my child?
The top 3 mistakes that people make that could really hurt your custody case are:
1. Refusing to cooperate or compromise with the other parent.
Despite any negative feelings or opinions you have about the other parent, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting your feelings above the best interests of your child. It will make you appear selfish, at best, and unable to co-parent, at worst. If you are not able to co-parent, then the court could consider awarding legal custody to the other parent who may appear, in contrast, willing to cooperate and compromise, which is in your child’s best interest. Refusing to communicate with the other parent in a reasonable manner could be interpreted by the Judge as though you do not truly care about your child’s wellbeing, rather, you are simply out to hurt the other parent. Pick your battles wisely and consider hiring an attorney to provide valuable advice about when to compromise and when to defend your position.
Generally, the court does not look fondly upon any attempt to cut the other parent off from seeing their child without a court order. However, if there is a substantial reason for withholding visitation from the other parent, such as suspected abuse or a living environment that poses a significant danger to the child, then you may have grounds to refuse to allow the other parent to visit with the child if a safe form of supervised visitation is not available, while your request for a court order is pending before the court. However, you should always consult with an attorney before you attempt to withhold visitation from the other parent, especially if the visitation schedule is set forth in a court order.
3. Posting on social media.
I’m not talking about posting pictures of your pets or what you had for dinner, but I am talking about posting anything relating to your custody case, whether you are venting frustrations about the other parent or their family members or posting pictures of you drinking or doing drugs. The reality is that all social media accounts are completely public and anything you post on them could be used against you in court. If a Judge could form a negative opinion about you and your conduct from your social media postings, the Judge could find that you have poor judgment and may not be a good influence on your child, which would be damaging to your custody case. In summary, do not post anything online that you would not want read or shown in open court to the Judge during your custody trial. Discuss any questions about past posts with your attorney because you attorney may be able to prevent it from being admitted as evidence at trial or somehow reduce its negative impact on the Judge.
Two other mistakes that I find are equally detrimental to your custody case are:
4. Speaking negatively about the other parent to or in front of your child, and
5. Failing to hire an attorney to represent you.
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I am always trying to inspire my clients to reach their divorce and/or custody goals by providing insightful and empowering legal advice. I thrive on helping clients understand how to successfully navigate the changes in their family dynamics to preserve family relationships and achieve the best outcome possible for the benefit of their children. When I’m not helping clients, I am running around with my husband and our two young and extremely active children and our Pug, Wali.
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DISCLAIMER: The materials available on this blog are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to your particular issue or problem.
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More of your questions answered:
June 14 – Dads and Divorce: Keeping the Kids
May 24 – Are Custody Evaluations Worth It?
May 10 – A Better Way to “Consciously Uncouple” – Collaborative Divorce