A divorce is by far one of the most difficult processes that anyone will ever endure in his or her life. These times can make a person act, or even react, irrationally and in ways that are potentially damaging to the custody case. If you have young children and are amidst a custody battle with your spouse, it is important that you understand how to behave – and most importantly, what not to do. Your actions before and during the divorce process can be used in court hearings to determine your eligibility for custody – regardless of whether you are the mother or father.
Five Things to Never Do During a Custody Case
- Alienation tactics. Even if you cannot stand your spouse, alienating him or her, or the children, and creating an uncomfortable, damaging environment for your children could harm your chances for custody. This is especially true if you yell at your spouse and/or children, tell children inappropriate or negative things about the other parent, or try to turn the child against the other parent.
- 1. Fail to pay child support. If you are already paying child support, do not stop payments – regardless of your reasons for doing so. Failure to pay could result in a contempt of court charge, but also result in your wages being garnished. Judges do not look kindly on parents who refuse to pay their child support obligations.
- 2. Removing the children from school without permission. While they are legally your children, removing them from school or the area without the other parent’s permission could be detrimental to your case. If you already have a custody arrangement, you could be found in contempt of court if you remove them from school. Judges look for the best interest of the children – and removing them from school or taking them from the other parent without permission is an interference of custody, not to mention confusing for the child.
- 3. Damaging property of the other parent. It does not matter how upset you are at the other parent. If you choose to damage his or her personal property, then you are proving to the courts that you have aggression. The court will not only require that you pay for or replace the damaged items, but then it may also consider you a threat to your children.
- 4. Quit your job, move in with a significant other, or create an unstable environment. Even if your marriage is over, you do not need to act that way throughout the custody case. Quitting your job, moving in with a significant other, etc. are all things that make the courts assume that you are unstable.
Speak with a Child Custody Attorney First
If you are going through a custody case with your spouse, it is best that you consult with a child custody lawyer. A child custody attorney can advise you as to how you should act during the case, but also protect you from exhibiting behaviors that could harm your case. Meet with the experienced child custody and visitation advocates at Sarieh Law Offices today. We offer free, 30-minute consultations. Schedule yours by calling 714-542-6200 or filling out our online contact form with your questions.