You must be feeling intense pain right now since you just got separated from your spouse. The separation must have cost you considerable money as well as emotional turmoil. After all, whether it’s mutual or disputed, separating from whom you thought to be your life partner is difficult. But things take a turn for the worst when children are involved.
You start worrying about losing your child to your soon-to-be-ex in nasty courtroom fights. However, there’s a way to ensure you get custody of your child. Since child custody laws are strict, it only takes one mistake on your part to endanger the child custody hearing.
Understandably, the separation process has already been traumatic for you, let alone the worry of losing your child. As a result, it’s normal for anyone to act out amid jumbled emotions. Still, you must be patient and remain calm to avoid falling into the judge’s wrong side.
Keeping this in mind, here’s a list of things you should avoid doing in a child custody case:
Not Seeking Legal Help
You may believe that you can get parental rights for your child on your own. This is where the majority of parents screw up. Just as the process of leaving your partner is unpleasant and costly, so are child custody proceedings. Such a case is even more difficult because a child is involved. The procedure is complicated, time-consuming, and needs you to meet a slew of prerequisites. Ignorance of even one of the criteria may turn the case against you.
You’ll need a lawyer just as you did when you left your partner. Child custody lawyers, like divorce attorneys, strive to make the process smooth. Their expertise and knowledge on the subject will guide you on what to do and what not to do. So the first mistake you should avoid committing is not consulting an expert to increase your chances of winning the case.
Not Communicating with Your Ex
A face and talk with your ex can be traumatizing to some. Unless you want to give up custody of your child, your only way is to speak with them.
Try to remain civil with your ex, discuss important issues affecting your child’s life (such as schooling) and be respectful to them, verbally or in writing. Just make the interaction brief for your sake, but be truthful and complete for your children’s sake.
No communication or miscommunication may give the court the impression that you are unwilling to make adjustments for your child, leading to a decision that isn’t in your favor.
Staying Active on Social Media
You never know how other people, including the court, might perceive your “I’m single again” post. They can cook up negative things from your social media activity to use against you. So it’s better to keep your social media interaction to a bare minimum to prevent the case from turning against you.
Asking Your Child to Choose
Pressuring your child to choose either parent is unacceptable by the jury. It suggests that you are disrespectful toward your child’s relationship with your ex-spouse. Hence, you should never urge your child to make a conflicted decision. Neither should you try to influence them by saying anything negative about your ex.
Ignoring Your Child for a New Partner
There’s nothing more harmful than getting involved in a new relationship, even when the court hasn’t ruled on the child custody case. The issue arises when you start prioritizing your new partner over your child. Courts usually keep a close eye on such things to ensure that the child is getting enough attention and, if not, what judgment to make in the trial.
Not Keeping a Record
You must keep note of everything that happens between you, your ex, and your child. Your written record serves as evidence in court if and when your spouse neglects you and your child. This influences the decision of the interim custody judgment in your favor.
Not Complying with Court Orders
You can’t stop your ex from spending time with your child, no matter how much you dislike it. This act reflects negatively on you, and you may lose your case, let alone visiting privileges. In addition, disobeying orders may result in a fine and possibly jail time.
Those mentioned here are only a handful of the many mistakes you should avoid when seeking custody of your child. Consult a legal professional who is an expert in child custody cases and allow them to lead you through everything according to your laws.