Of all of the important matters that need to be assessed and settled in a divorce, child custody can be the most sensitive and significant. It's common for parents to enter this process with specific outcomes in mind—and to also be surprised how their own, seemingly unrelated behavior has undermined their goals. Let's take a look at the five most common child custody mistakes that occur during the divorce process.
INSULTING YOUR SPOUSE IN PUBLIC (AND ONLINE)
It's normal to be on less-than-perfect terms with your spouse as you enter the divorce process, but when it comes to child custody, the court wants to see that you can encourage your child's relationship with your co-parent. Badmouthing your spouse in public (including social media) does not indicate that you are ready to do this.
COACHING YOUR CHILD
If your child is old enough, the court will likely take their custody preference into consideration if parents cannot agree on arrangements. When doing so, the court is interested in the child's genuine wishes, not rehearsed answers that one parent has primed their child to give.
LIVING WITH A NEW ROMANTIC PARTNER
It is not unheard of for one or both parents to already be moving on to other partners before their marriage is officially dissolved. Still, it is highly advised that parents refrain from cohabitation with these partners. The court wants parents to provide as much continuity to their child as possible-- and living with new adults is not part of that continuity.
MAKING PARENTAL DECISIONS ALONE
In the middle of a divorce, it's normal for a family's routine to be somewhat upended while arrangements are decided and transitions are made. Still, it is important that parents continue to cordially collaborate on parental decisions. Making these decisions alone only demonstrates to the court that you are unwilling to participate in sharing parental responsibilities.
BEING OVERLY AGGRESSIVE
It is not in the court's interest anymore to simply award custody to one parent and not the other. The court wants parents to continue to collaborate and share as many burdens and joys of parenting as possible. That is why clients who insist on sole custody—either to leverage bargaining or punish their spouse—will often find their demands rejected.
If you are facing a divorce and have child custody concerns, having a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate by your side is essential. At Audu Law Firm, we make our clients divorce goals a priority and ensure that their interests and concerns are heard before the law.
We are ready to help you navigate this uncertain time. Contact us today to speak with our skilled Sugar Land divorce attorney.