Custody battles are the most challenging part of a marital conflict or divorce. While being time-consuming and expensive, it also endangers the well-being of your children. Sabotaging the case by making an irreversible mistake is the last thing you want to do. It’s always better to consult a lawyer before making a wrong move and losing your children forever. Your actions and behavior are a deciding factor in child custody cases and could lead to serious repercussions in a court of law.
Much like the careful consideration, you mustered while deciding to end your marriage, if anything, child custody is more important and too serious a matter to handle casually. It is crucial to understand your situation before getting into legal matters. Figuring out if you have an advantage requires observing things neutrally, perhaps by enlisting legal aid to glance at your predicament. But bargaining into court without preparing could render you disadvantaged.
And most importantly, what matters above all is the child’s happiness. You need to keep the preferences and welfare of any children involved as the basis for all your legal discussions.
Some people may file child custody cases out of spite for the other spouse, regardless of the ramifications it may entail. Every child custody case is different. To prepare better, acquaint yourself with the types of child custody cases to know where you stand, and you can proceed with your case. However, in this short read, we will familiarize you with five mistakes to avoid when fighting for your child’s custody.
Keep Your Behavior in Check
Spouses, having fallen out, or divorced, tend to lose their patience or become aggressive over future matters they must handle with mutual consent. Frustrations are a given when taking such issues to court. We offer you this morsel: do not lose your cool. It helps to create a calm environment before calling your soon-to-be-ex over. Verbal arguments – though still condemnable – are one thing, but physical confrontation is another. From the inception of heated discourse, things go south enough to lead to nastiness.
Always keep your children away whenever meeting up with your spouse for custody. Do not threaten or conduct unsupervised visits with them. Keep any legal proceedings private from your children, and always consult your lawyer before getting back to your spouse.
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Keep Up With Child Support
If you were the earner before the divorce, or if you’ve agreed to pay child support, never give up on it. You need to pay child support regularly and religiously. If you run into some financial quicksand, get stuck – such as with bankruptcy or losing your job – then file a motion with the court as soon as possible. This will keep your custody case intact. However, you won’t be out of the woods. The court will only lessen the amount you pay as child support, giving you time to get back up from your fall. Failing to pay child support may lead to limited or no visitation.
Do Not Take Away the Kids Without the Permission of Your Spouse
Always ensure your spouse is informed beforehand about each one of your visits. If you plan to take the kids away on a trip or some vacation, not informing your spouse can result in your being accused of kidnapping your children. Even if it is unintentional, you could lose the case. The court might rule you unfit for the children on the grounds that you may take the children away again for selfish reasons.
Be careful, and simply take your ex-spouse’s permission and consent before embarking on any journey with your kids.
Never Disrespect the Court
A custody battle is a multi-faceted affair; you are not just fighting your ex-spouse but are also trying to impress the court. While your children and your relationship with them are in no way the court’s business, one wrong move and even the slightest contempt can render you powerless. They will not hesitate to rule the decision in your ex-spouse’s favor.
In these cases, courts may order certain other requests like parenting classes and joining groups of other unsuccessful parents. Listen to the instructions, take time to process them, and then understand them. Not abiding by the court’s orders will not work out in your favor, even if you are innocent.
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Put Your Children’s Needs Before Your Own
Your children are innocents; do not let them become casualties in this tug-of-war you have got going on with your spouse. Put your selfishness and petty vengeance aside and think about your children. How will this custody battle impact them? Do they even want to live with you? If yes, what are you willing to do to ensure you win? How will you cater to their best interests?
Some children take their parents’ divorce as a trauma. In such cases, you should not try to explain the circumstances or tell a more convincing story to brainwash your kids. Take them to a counselor and have them understand what is at stake and how much of a role they can play in deciding their future, too.
In trying to win custody of your children, make sure you avoid the mistakes mentioned above. Do not misbehave with your spouse, the court, or your children. Keep paying child support if it is your responsibility, and ensure that you always think about your children’s welfare.