Going through a child custody battle is challenging enough with all that is out of your control — your ex, their attorney, and the judge. But there are things within your control that can determine whether you win the custody you are fighting for.
In a child custody battle, your goal is to have the judge see you as the attentive, caring parent that you really are. Below are four strategies to help you achieve that goal.
1. Don’t Get in Trouble With the Law
The judge making child custody decisions in your case will base their decision on what is in the best interest of your kids. It is not in the best interest of your kids to be in the care of someone who breaks the law. This is especially true while your child custody battle is ongoing, even if that someone is you.
If you’re arrested for a violent crime, DUI/DWI, or narcotics possession, you’re providing easy evidence for your kids’ other parent to show the judge that you’re a violent person or have a drug or alcohol problem. It’s even worse if your kids witness your arrest.
So, be sure not to break the law or get arrested. Control yourself and how you react. And if you have problems with anger or substance abuse and have concerns about your ability to control yourself, please get help.
2. Be Careful What You Post
Just as you should control yourself so you don’t get arrested, you should also control any impulse you might have to post text or pictures on social media that could be used against you. Your Instagram post of the wild party you were at before your trial could be used as evidence that you abuse alcohol. And let’s say you posted a tweet insulting your kids’ other parent or your kids, even jokingly. The judge could perceive this as evidence that you are not fit to have the custody you want over your kids.
Be aware that what you post on social media can be found by anyone looking for it. That includes your ex’s lawyer. So, limit your use of social media and only post what you could defend in court.
3. Don’t Violate Court Orders
At the start of your divorce, a judge might issue a temporary custody order that defines the custody arrangement between you and your kids’ other parent until your trial. These court orders usually state the days and times your kids have with you. They will also outline the level of supervisory authority you have over your kids as well as other restrictions.
If you violate the court’s custody order, you are providing easy evidence for your ex. They could use it to claim that you are a defiant person who will not comply with the court’s final decision in your child custody battle. So, be aware of the rules and restrictions in your temporary custody order. That way you don’t unintentionally violate it. Pick up and return your kids by the day and time specified. And don’t take them anywhere you’re not allowed under the court order without the other parent’s consent or another court order.
4. Play Nice With Your Ex
It is only natural to feel hurt by your kids’ other parent during a child custody battle. But that doesn’t mean that you should be a jerk to him or her.
If you refuse to communicate or care for your kids during your child custody battle, you will only hurt yourself and your case. Your ex will portray you as an uncooperative parent before the judge.
So, go out of your way to be as helpful and level-headed as you can be to your ex. Do your best to keep open lines of communication with him or her. Especially when it comes to decisions about your kids. After all, your child custody battle is about what is best for your kids. It’s not about what is best for your pride.
What Should You Do During a Child Custody Battle?
During a child custody battle, your goal should be to provide the judge evidence of how great a parent you truly are. By watching your own actions and words, you can avoid making mistakes that judges will pay attention to and get the custody your kids want and deserve.
Contact a Child Custody Attorney to Learn More
If you need help with a child custody battle, we can help. At Angela Faye Brown & Associates, our top priority is our clients’ children and their welfare. If you’d like to learn more about our services, contact us today for a no-risk evaluation.