Custody battles can be incredibly contentious and difficult, given the sensitive nature of this matter. Both parents love their children and want what is best for them, but sometimes it is hard to come to a unified decision on what that entails. As parents work out the kinks of their arrangement, there are some mistakes that commonly happen, but they are not always inevitable. Being aware of these mistakes is the first step to avoiding them.
Here are some things you should avoid while in the midst of your child custody case:
- Do not make a mistake in your behavior: This is a touchy situation and many individuals lose their cool or become overwhelmed with having to deal with their spouse or the court. While it is natural to feel this way, you must avoid heated arguments or physical confrontations with your soon-to-be ex-spouse. You must also never make any threats. Engaging in this type of behavior will very likely prevent you from having custody of your kids and you might have to settle for supervised visitation.
Avoiding bad behavior also includes drug and alcohol abuse, especially when you are visiting with your children. If you are suspected of drug or alcohol abuse, you might have to submit to testing, which might prevent you from having future access to your children.
- Do not forget to pay child support: If you have been ordered to pay child support, you must remember to pay it. If you are experiencing financial difficulties that prevent you from fulfilling your obligation, you must bring it to the judge’s attention. The court might make an order to reduce the support until you are able to get back on your feet. Simple failing to prove it might result in limited visitation or custody. Remember to make your payments and you can avoid these consequences.
3.Never take the kids away for a vacation without the consent of the other parent: If you take the children away without the other parent’s consent, you could be accused of kidnapping, which might potentially result in limited or no custody. The law generally will not look kindly upon any spouse who does not respect the other parent’s need to have access to their children. If you really want to take them, ask your ex and obtain consent.
4.Do not disrespect the court: This might sound like common sense, but a surprising amount of people show complete disregard for the court and its orders. Always comply with the court’s orders. If you fail to do so, the judge might hold you in contempt. It is also crucial never to lie in court because, if caught, the ramifications can be quite severe.
5.Never put your needs over your kids: If you think this is a hard time for you, imagine how hard it is for your children. Now is not the time to be selfish. It is time to help your children cope with what they are experiencing. If you think counseling might help, arrange for it. More importantly, however, you need to show a willingness to work with your spouse. Fostering a healthy and civil relationship with your spouse will place less stress on the kids and help your case. Judges are often sympathetic toward parents who are willing to work together for the good of their children, so do everyone a favor and exhibit a willingness to share parenting time,
6.Do not blow off time with your kids: When you want custody of your children, the last thing you want to do is fail to make time for them. If you have a scheduled visit, make sure you show up on time to pick them up and drop them off at an agreed upon time. If you flake out on these opportunities, your ex might bring them up in court to make you seem like a neglectful parent.
7.Do not leave the marital home: In the midst of a divorce, one spouse might decide to leave the marital home, but leaving actually causes you to lose an advantage when it comes to gaining child custody. The court could perceive this decision as a sign that your ex is the true custodial parent, or that you might be unstable or unreliable. If you have absolutely no choice but to leave the family home, take the children with you.
8.Do not forget your lawyer: If you are involved in a custody battle, you must obtain a lawyer. If you do it yourself, any number of missteps can occur. Family law can be complicated and lawyers spend years training and gaining experience to learn the intricacies of it, so turn to someone with the skills necessary to handle your case.
Glen Allen Child Custody Lawyer
In divorces involving children, custody is often the most difficult and emotional issues spouses will encounter. At DeFazio Bal, our Glen Allen legal team will assist you with complex child custody legal matters, utilizing our 50 years of combined experience to help guide you through every step of the process. We are dedicated to helping you reach your desired outcome and protect your family’s best interests while doing so. This is an important decision which can be made through mediation or in litigation. If the decision is left to a judge, several factors will be considered, including the home environment of each parent, evidence of domestic violence, or drug and alcohol abuse.
Learn more about how our firm can help you today and call (804) 250-3729 to schedule a consultation.