Tips on What to Avoid During a Custody Battle

Divorce is tough for everyone involved, but becomes more difficult when children are caught in the middle. Even on the best terms, parents tend to become very emotionally charged in manners dealing with their children — and, rightfully so. When you are involved in a heated custody battle, it’s important to remain level-headed and mind your p’s and q’s. Being on your best behavior is important modeling for your children, but is also important for your own sanity, the emotional well-being of your children, but it can also affect the outcome of your case.

As experienced Colorado family lawyers fighting for the rights of Arapahoe County families, we’d like to offer you some tips on what to avoid during a custody battle.

Speaking Poorly Of The Other Parent

It is common that one (or both) parents speak ill of the other, especially in the height of a divorce, but it’s important to remember that not only is the other parent half of your child’s love and support system whom they love very much, but everything you say can (and will be) used against you in your custody hearing. Speaking poorly of the other parent can be used against you in open court and is generally looked down upon. Choose your words and watch your behavior during the custody battle.

Sharing Company With Those Who Will Hinder Your Case

This is always sound advice, but even more important to heed when you are involved in a custody battle. The people that you surround yourself with are those that the courts will evaluate as those who your child will be exposed to when they are spending time with you. Factors that can have a negative impact on your custody case in relation to those you spend time with include:

  • Living with someone who is required to register as a sex offender
  • Being intimately involved with someone who has been convicted of spousal or child abuse
  • Residing with someone who uses or abuses illicit substances, alcohol, or marijuana

Failing To Make Child Support Payments

We know it can be incredibly frustrating to make child support payments while the terms of your child custody case is still pending, but it’s important to pay whatever the courts say you should until it is changed. Failure to pay child support appears to the court as a lack of respect for the court and lack of concern for your children and can have serious negative consequences. Rest assured that if there was an error or things change, the courts will look favorably upon you making the payments that you did. Keep in mind that child support payments are for the needs of your children and are not payments made to the other parent. Modifications and corrections can be made later.

Removing Children From Daycare, School, Or The Area

Before your divorce and custody battle, you could have shown up to take your children on a surprise midday ice cream and playdate in the park as a special treat. Mid custody battle, however, such actions can, and most likely will be, viewed as parental kidnapping and show contempt for the court and blatant disrespect for the other parent. Save surprise rendezvous for later!

Refusing To Cooperate Or Compromise With The Other Parent

Even though you may have strong negative feelings about the other parent or soon-to-be ex-spouse, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is putting those feelings in the way of caring for your children. Refusing to communicate in a reasonable way with the other parent could convey to the courts that you don’t care about your child’s well-being and are simply out to hurt the other parent and “win” the custody battle. In child custody cases, there are no winners and losers, just strong co-parents and those who use their kids as bargaining chips.

Taking Your Issues To Social Media

I really can’t stress this enough — social media is NOT the place to air your dirty laundry. Not in status, comments, posts, videos, images; not anywhere. Divorce is tough; child custody cases are tougher. Whatever you do, resist the urge to vent about it on social media. Anything you post is public property and can be used against you in your Colorado child custody case.

Disobeying A Court Order

Even if things are going well and you and the other parent are on agreeable terms, never break a court order. Not only will this be detrimental to your custody case, but it could land you in jail, or worse. Whether you think the court order is unfair, unnecessary, or out of date, breaking it is a violation of the law and will prove to the courts that you do not take the process, or your parenting responsibilities seriously. If you are in doubt, contact your family lawyer to discuss your options.

Navigating parenting time in Colorado may be confusing and overwhelming, but t at the Law Offices of Kelli J. Malcolm are here to help! Connect with me today.

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