A divorce is a difficult transition for you, your soon-to-be ex-spouse and, perhaps most of all, your children. If you and your spouse are not able to come to an agreement when it comes to who will have custody of your children, a judge may need to decide who has which rights. While you may be dedicated to doing all you can to retain primary or joint custody of your kids, there are some common mistakes that you might make that could negatively impact your case.
Making Your Case Public
You will need the emotional support of your family and friends during this time. It's always best to keep this type of communication private between you and those you trust. Posting the details of your divorce, your ex's mistakes or your custody battle on social media sites can backfire.
Depending on what you say and who reads it, you might be accused of trying to turn the children against your spouse, which can lead to a charge of Parental Alienation. Making private details public also could cause a judge to question your judgement in other aspects of your life. Be aware that even if you have tight privacy settings, someone could copy or screenshot your remarks. Avoid having this happen by keeping your conversations off of social media.
Job- or House-Hopping
If you are going through financial difficulty associated with your divorce, which is common, you might need to move more than once. Since the judge will want you to to show that you can provide a stable place for your children to live (or visit), you are going to need to secure housing for yourself. If it means moving in with your parents, that's fine; try to avoid moving from couch to couch as you stay with various friends, though.
The same can be said about your employment. A separation or divorce often requires one or both partners to seek a different type of employment, whether due to needing more time off or needing to make more money. While some temporary disruption is to be expected, strive to find steady employment as quickly as possible. Again, you want to be able to show the judge that you can provide stability in terms of a steady income to pay for necessities for your children.
Not Following Custody Agreements Precisely
If you are appealing a custody decision or trying to have changes made, it's vital that you stick to whatever the current agreement is in the meantime. Do not withhold visitation (unless there is an abusive situation occurring), skip your own visits or try to otherwise disrupt your ex's time with the kids. While things do come up (vacations, sleepovers at friends' houses, etc), minimize them until the custody agreement is finalized.
Follow your attorney's advice to improve your chances of getting a custody agreement that is in your and your children's best interests. When in doubt, assume that all of your interactions with your ex are being documented. This will often help you to act with the discretion and care that the situation requires.
Contact a legal professional like Andrew H P Norton to learn more.