Divorce is a challenging situation for all of the parties involved. On the outside, it may seem like two people decided that they do not want to live together anymore. However, only those going through the process understand what’s at stake. It becomes even more difficult if you and your spouse cannot seem to agree on a child’s custody arrangement. You might worry that you will not have enough time to spend with your child or conversely, worry that your child might be spending too much time with your spouse if he or she happens to be an abusive individual, which would impact your children in an unhealthy way.
While child custody battle cannot be avoided, there are certain mistakes you should avoid to not make things worse. Since this is a sensitive process, all it takes is one misguided statement to make the case even worse.
Mistakes you should avoid when fighting a custody battle:
Starting a physical confrontation
Going through this process can be emotionally overwhelming. You might be tempted to give in to the anger and frustration and you may even lash out. While starting a physical confrontation might feel good at that particular moment, it would not do anything to help your case.
Keep in mind that the judge wants to place the child in an environment where he would be safe. Outbursts in front of the judge would paint a completely different picture if you. You need to think what’s best for your child, no matter the cost.
Bad mouthing your ex in front of family and friends
Even if you are right about your judgments, under no circumstances should you bad mouth the child’s other parent. It doesn’t matter how frustrated you are, doing so can not only make things worse for your case, but also create a barrier between you and your child.
Moreover, in an unfortunate situation where the case seems to be going nowhere, a court will decide the custody. If reports came to surface claiming that you have been speaking ill about your ex, they may use this information when deciding which parent to choose to give the child a stable and an emotionally happy home.
Not paying child support
Given the situation, you might feel that you do not need to pay child support and custody. You might think that since the other parent was so keen on acquiring the child’s custody, he or she should have thought about bearing his or her expenses as well. But the truth is, failing to provide child support is seen as defying an order given by the court.
Child support mediation will lead to a child support settlement. If you do not pay regularly, this could hurt you legally in many ways including landing you in jail, seizing your property and business, suspending your driver’s license, etc. If you are unable to make your payments, you should consider making a more realistic budget before signing any legal documents about support.
Posting everything on social media
It doesn’t matter how troublesome the situation at home is. If you are avid on social media about your divorce, it is better that you keep things to yourself. Specifically do not post about how careless your child’s other parent has been when it comes to taking care of your child. Everything we post on the Internet remains there unless we delete it.
Depending on the circumstances of the situation, whatever you post on the internet is admissible in court. You might think that since your profile is private, you can post whatever you want without other people seeing what you post. That is not true. People could go at great lengths to dig up dirt on others, including hacking your profile. So you should not post about the other spouse as mentioned above.
Important pointers you should keep in mind when fighting a child custody battle:
- Different lawyers have different areas of expertise. You should hire individual lawyers with experience in a litigated divorce, or divorce lawyer mediators who have experience in handling child support mediation cases.
- The judge would not grant you custody just because you happen to be a woman. Assuming that the father of the child would not get custody is baseless. The judge will carefully hear your cases and after assessing both the parents’ carefully, he would grant custody to the parent they deem fit for the child.
- If you are sharing your child’s custody with the other parent, then making decisions about your child’s life unilaterally could have adverse effects on your case. This is especially true in two cases: school and religion. That is why you should never alienate your child from the other parent.
- It might be hard to believe, but some people use their children as weapons in their marital war when, in reality, they are the victims. People should know that while they no longer might be someone’s wife, husband or partner, they will always remain a father or a mother.
- Divorce can trigger different kinds of unsettling feelings and it is an emotional experience. But you should control it since the judge would want to choose a parent for your child who is emotionally stable.
- You should be completely prepared before entering a child custody battle. This means doing your homework, hiring an experienced family attorney and taking time to understand what child custody laws in your state are.
- Communicating with the child’s other parent, regardless of how you feel about him/her, leaves a positive impression not only on the court, but also on your child. Whether it is about school meetings or letting your child go to a friend’s house- the other parents need to know what is happening in the child’s life.
- While setting boundaries is important generally, it especially becomes a point of interest when a person is going through a divorce. The signs when you have to rethink your boundaries include when you handle the other parents’ responsibilities, when you see no scope of compromise, when your ex is being childish about alimony or when he/she overlooks the rules you agreed on.