Divorce can be a difficult time for anyone, but especially for parents. Children can complicate divorce proceedings and turn them ugly, often because both parents want what they think is best for the child. However, sometimes parents make mistakes during the child custody proceedings, not knowing it could cost them time with their kids. Here are a few common child custody mistakes to avoid if you’re about to get divorced.
Telling the judge or your lawyer a lie can often backfire severely. If a judge catches you in a lie, this will indicate you are untruthful in general. If you tell one lie, what else are you concealing? Lying will destroy your credibility and worsen your chances of getting a favorable custody arrangement. Your attorney also can’t represent you to the best of his or her ability if you are hiding things from them.
Using Social Media
While social media isn’t bad in and of itself, it can often lead people to post things they might later regret. While it might feel good to talk trash about your spouse during the divorce, your spouse and his or her lawyer can also use that against you later in court. For example, let’s say a man posted something negative about his wife on Facebook. His wife’s attorney then uses the post as evidence that the man has violent tendencies and demonstrates poor judgment by “airing out his laundry in public.” The judge might then rule against the man, granting the wife legal custody. Because of the man’s lack of self-control, he lost potential time spent with his children. Suspend or delete your social media accounts if you can’t refrain from posting on them.
Nothing says irresponsibility like committing a crime during a child custody dispute. If you are arrested or are being investigated for a crime, this could hurt your chances in court, even if you’re not convicted. Judges will look at a parent’s background to determine parental fitness, and criminal history is something the court will take into account.
Ignoring Court Orders
Sometimes courts will put temporary orders into place during a divorce to ensure the children are cared for and the bills are paid as two parents wait for their divorce to resolve. These orders can concern child custody, child support, and protection. If you violate these terms, the court will view it as a sign you don’t respect the law and what it stands for. A judge will penalize you for the violation, and it can seriously hurt your custody case.
Despite how you may feel about your spouse during the divorce, you can’t completely cut off ties. It is vital to compromise with your spouse to ensure the divorce proceeds quickly. Completely cutting off communication with the other party demonstrates to the court that you are uncooperative or emotionally ill-equipped to be a fit parent. The best thing to show a judge is a willingness to communicate and cooperate. A calm, level-headed person is more likely to get a better custody outcome.
If you’re looking at a child custody disagreement, make sure you have a good representative with you. Talk to one of our experienced Des Moines family law attorneys. We have more than 10 years of experience helping people with their divorces throughout the Greater Des Moines area. Trust our honest and reliable legal counsel to help your family through this difficult time. Our dedicated attorneys will fight for your rights as a parent in court or in mediation, and we can also help you and your spouse create parenting plans. Contact us at (515) 200-7571 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation today.