When a marriage fails, most people opt for divorce. According to the most recent data, almost half of all marriages end with a divorce.
If a couple has children at the time of divorce, child custody can be a contested issue. But, not all divorces have contested child custody issues. Some people go through their divorces amicably to avoid dragging their children into their differences.
But, child custody issues can arise even after amicable divorces if one party fails to honor set agreements. When navigating a child custody case, it is important to identify issues that could jeopardize your chances.
Denying Your Ex-Partner Visitation Rights
In most child custody cases, the court will grant one partner physical custody while allowing visitation rights to the other party. After a contested divorce, the partner with the physical custody can decide to keep the child from their former partner to get back at them.
However, this could get you in trouble with the court, and the judge could hold you in contempt of court.
The only valid reason for withholding visitation rights will be if your ex-partner poses a danger to the child, for example, child abuse, or you have reason to believe they are exposing the child to unsanitary conditions. But even then, you will need to involve the court before making such a decision.
Keep Your Emotional Baggage Away From Court
If you carry your emotional baggage to court, it may hurt your chances of succeeding in your child custody case. “No matter how you feel, or the reasons that led to your divorce, don’t bring that baggage to your child custody proceedings,” says family lawyer Tamar Begun of the Capital Family & Divorce Law Group.
Carrying emotional damage can cause a communication breakdown with your estranged partner and create the impression of putting your emotions before the child’s best interests.
The court always considers the child’s best interest when granting custody, so refusing to cooperate or acting out can paint you as the irresponsible partner, which could hurt your case.
Be Careful with Social Media
Social media is the one place most people go to cool off or vent their frustrations. But, if you are in the middle of a child custody case or any other case, airing its contents on social media can only help ruin your case.
Even posting things that don’t involve your case can hurt it. For example, photos of you intoxicated or anything that can paint you in a negative light.
If you have already made such mistakes, don’t delete them now that you have learned it could hurt your case because doing so can land you in trouble for destroying evidence. Instead, let your lawyer know about it. They could devise legal ways to ensure they are not used against you.
Don’t Go Without a Lawyer
Divorce and custody cases can involve tons of paperwork that may not make sense to you and are among the causes that are not DIY-friendly. So, you will want to have a lawyer with you.
A lawyer can help in several ways. First, they will keep you from making any mistakes mentioned in this article. Also, they can act as the mediator between you and your partner minimizing your chances of getting your emotions in the way of your getting custody rights for your child.
Your ex-partner may have a lawyer looking into their interests, so it makes perfect sense to have one looking out for your rights.