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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Fighting for custody? Don't make these common mistakes

Custody battles can be messy and stir up a lot of emotions. While deciding to split with your partner, it became apparent to you that your soon-to-be-ex is not in a position to handle physical custody of the children. Unfortunately, they disagree and now it's up to a judge to decide how custody should be awarded.

Emotions are high and you're doing all you can to prove why the kids are better off in your care but the custody process is taking a toll. There's so much back-and-forth arguing and it feels like it's never going to end. Staying calm feels impossible and you can't stop worrying about what the judge is thinking. 

While everything around you feels like it's spinning out of control, there's one thing you do have control over, you. It's easy to get sucked into the drama that comes with custody cases but it's crucial that you do your best to be thoughtful of your behavior and rise above.

Avoiding these common mistakes can make all the difference in your case:

  • Forgetting what's important. Your children should always be the focus, custody battles are about what's best for them, not about punishing your ex.
  • Berating your ex. No matter what they said about you in court, do not engage with them. Use your support system to help you through but leave your ex out of it. Going off on them will only provide more ammunition for their case.
  • Violating temporary court orders. Temporary orders are commonly put into place during the custody process; disobeying these orders could be detrimental to your case.
  • Oversharing on social media. Be extremely careful about what you're posting on social media. No matter how private your account is, there is no way to know who might end up seeing your post. Talk to a therapist or call a friend or family member when you're upset, leave it off the internet.
  • Bad mouthing your ex to the children. It's not your child's job to fight your personal battles, leave them out of it. It will reflect negatively on you if the court finds out you are encouraging your children to take sides.
  • Drinking too much. It's okay to enjoy the occasional glass of wine but be careful not to overindulge, especially if you have temporary custody of the kids.
  • Pleading your case outside the court room. Under no circumstance should you initiate outside communication with the judge working your case. This will not be taken lightly, there is a judicial process for a reason, disrupting it will only reflect poorly on you.

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