Divorce is an emotional, trying time for all parties involved. It can be even more complicated when there are children involved, and a custody battle ensues.
The courts will hear each parent’s case and then decide based on what is best for the child. Keep in mind that mistakes made during custody battles can ultimately affect the amount of time you get to spend with your child.
Today, we’ll discuss five common mistakes that parents make during custody battles.
#1. Thinking That What Worked for Someone Else Will Work for You
Just because something worked for your friend or a family member during their custody battle doesn’t necessarily mean it will be the right thing for you and your family. Each family is different.
When a court decides custody arrangements, they are in effect until your child turns 18. If something doesn’t work out, there will be much work involved to get the courts to change the arrangement. Be sure that you take into account the individual needs of your family before you draft and submit a parenting schedule to the courts.
#2. Thinking That Child Support and Visitation Are Intertwined
Often, the custodial parent believes that they can withhold visitation from the non-custodial parent if they haven’t received child support. Child support and visitation are separate issues, and one doesn’t affect the other. If you choose to withhold visitation, the courts will view this negatively, and you will be in violation of the terms of the custody agreement.
#3. Missing Child Support Payments
If the court has ordered you to make child support payments, make sure that you consistently make those payments. Neither the courts nor your spouse will be pleased with you missing a support payment.
Sometimes non-custodial parents see child support as benefiting their former spouse, but this is not the case. These payments are to ensure a better life for the child. Missing child support payments negatively affects your case and places you in violation of your child support agreement. Willfully missing child support payments can find you in contempt of court and may result in jail time.
#4. Talking Badly About the Other Parent
It doesn’t matter if you are badmouthing the other parent to friends, family, or your child. When you do this, you are risking a confrontation if it gets back to them and damage to your case if it is relayed back to the court.
Talking badly about the other parent to your child can be traumatizing, and is not recommended under any circumstance. It is never wise to make your child feel like they have to choose between their parents. By doing this, you not only risk damaging your relationship with your child, but you also risk causing parental alienation, which could affect the outcome of your custody battle.
Try to remember that this time in your life is temporary, but you will be parenting with the other parent for the rest of your child’s life. Try working on dealing with your negative feelings towards your ex with a counselor instead of lashing out and risking the outcome of your custody battle.
#5. Keeping Your Child Informed About the Custody Case
Kids are smart. They tend to know and understand more than they are given credit for. So even if you don’t mention the custody battle that is going on, it’s likely that your child will have an idea of the gravity of the situation..
While being honest with your children is important, if you are sharing with them what is going on during the case, or if you feel like you have to give them your “side of the story,” it can inadvertently cause emotional and psychological damage. If your child approaches you about what is going on, instead of discussing details, keep your explanation simple and child-appropriate.
Let the Experts at Azemika & Azemika Help You Navigate Through Your Custody Battle!
During a divorce, the needs of the children involved have to be the number one priority for all parties involved. However, you must also make sure to protect your rights as a parent.
At Azemika & Azemika, our attorneys have specialized in all aspects of family law for over 28 years. We use our vast experience to customize each case based on each client’s needs. As a result, we will help you find solutions to all of your child custody concerns.
Reach out today to schedule a consultation. Let us focus on your family so that you can focus on the future.