Child custody battles are one of divorce’s most emotional and aggressive areas. Parents in such situations fight tooth and nail to have shared or full custody of their children. However, enthusiasm or passion may be diluted when they make common mistakes that could cost them a favorable outcome.
As a parent going into a child custody battle, knowing the common mistakes others made can improve your chances of a favorable outcome. Below are five mistakes that can cost you custody of your child.
Prioritizing Personal Interest
It is easy to lose track of your main goal during a child custody case. Warring partners who would take any opportunity to stick it to their ex-partners may experience unexpected outcomes in a child custody case.
Parents need to understand why they are fighting for custody. The goal should be to remain in the child’s life rather than use the child as a pawn.
On the other hand, parents should also understand that the child’s interests and welfare are also important. Parents who do not have the emotional capacity to cater to their children may lose their bid in court. This is because the court will always consider what is best for the child.
Shielding Children from Ex-Partners
Divorcing partners often use their children as revenge plots against their exes. They may choose to deprive their ex-partners of access to the children as a means of emotional torture. Some may also do this to alienate the child or children from the other parent. Doing this to get the child’s favor and to turn children against ex-partners can have devastating outcomes.
It is important to note that witnesses may be presented in such cases to prove deliberate alienation. This can further affect the custodial partner’s chances of getting the expected outcome.
It is best to keep things open and cordial during the child custody process. This gives the children a chance to make their decision while also further strengthening your standpoint.
Refusing to Reach an Agreement
Not all child custody cases are drawn out. Uncontested child custody cases involve an agreement between divorcing or separating partners regarding the children. However, some partners may leave the matter unresolved by failing to reach an agreement.
Failure to reach an agreement may be a plot to delay the entire divorce process, frustrate the other party, or dry up their finances. The court frowns upon such actions and considers them not in the child’s best interest.
In addition, failing to reach a mutual agreement with an ex-partner leaves the judgment and outcome to the court. In most cases, the outcome may be unexpected.
Inappropriate Conduct or Communication
Divorcing partners often see the separation period as a time to fulfill their wildest fantasies. This may include dating new people, consuming drugs and alcohol, partying, and more. This period may also involve inciting the children against the other parent or inappropriate communication with their ex-partners.
Courts are more likely to strike against such actions, which may jeopardize the parent’s chances of winning their custody case.
Parents in a child custody battle should always remember the three F’s of communication; Friendly, Factual, and Firm. This would help them avoid issues and improve their chances.
Not Hiring an Attorney
Many parents believe hiring an attorney is a luxury, especially in a divorce or child custody case. However, going up against a qualified attorney without appropriate legal representation is a great disservice to oneself.
Hiring an attorney can improve your chances of a positive outcome in a child custody case. In addition, your attorney can guide you against making other common mistakes that could ruin your chances.
If you still need to hire an attorney, now may be the best time to speak to one. Unsure of how to go about it? Here are some tips to help you hire the right child custody lawyer.
Research and ask for recommendations: Start by researching the top divorce lawyers online and offline. Your offline search can include recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues.
Read reviews: Read reviews left by past clients the lawyers have represented. Stay away from lawyers with many negative reviews.
Consider the lawyer’s experience: Thin your list by shortlisting only the most experienced family or divorce lawyers with a solid track record.
Contact the law firm or lawyer: Contact the lawyer or law firm to learn more about their approach to cases. You can also leverage the free consultation meeting offered by most family lawyers to know more about them.
Inquire about fees and legal costs: Knowing how much your child custody lawyer charges can help you plan your finances correctly. Ask about the fees, consider the services they’re to render, and determine the right lawyer for your case.