Emotions tend to be very heightened when parents are battling over their children. Parents may think irrationally, letting their anger for the other parent lead their actions. However, it’s important to always keep the child’s best interests in mind. Here are few tips on what not to do during a child custody proceeding:
Do not post negative comments about the other parent online. What you put on the internet may be used against you in Court. Even if you think you are posting something on a private site that only your friends can see, it will inevitably get back to the other parent. Even worse, your child may see it. Why spend your time talking about the other parent when you could be spending quality time with your child? Instead, focus your energy on more positive tasks.
Do not talk negatively about the other parent to the child. Children are like sponges – they retain more information than we think. Even a little comment made to them, or in their presence, may stick with them for a while. More often than not, they feel compelled to tell the other parent that you are talking about them. The information passed on to the other parent may not properly reflect what you said, but the damage has already been done. Instead, find a productive way to communicate with the other parent, leaving your child out of the conversation completely.
Don’t be unreasonable with schedule changes. If the other parent needs to pick-up the child 15 minutes early to ensure the child gets to soccer practice on time, don’t deny the request simply to be difficult. Showing that you can be reasonable with the other parent will go a long way with the Court. Even if the other parent wouldn’t do the same for you, don’t fall for their game. The judge will be happy to see that you are putting the child’s best interests first.
Don’t violate the current court orders. If you are waiting for your court hearing to modify child custody or visitation orders, you still have to comply with the current orders. If the judge finds out you’ve been violating an order, they will be less likely to trust you’ll follow future court orders. Again, even if the other parent is not following the current order, don’t follow their lead. The judge will respect the fact that you followed the law and waited for the Court to make a ruling. Additionally, violating a current court order may result in contempt of court, which you definitely want to avoid.
If you have questions about a family law matter, including child custody or visitation, contact our office today for a consultation: (619)255-4013.