Custody negotiations are a trying time for everyone involved. The best thing you can do is not let all the emotions and frustrations take over.
Always keep your children’s best interests at heart. If you are able to maintain a civil relationship with your ex-partner it could work in your favor. Ensure that you have an experienced attorney to defend your case and make sure you avoid the things we have outlined below during your custody battle.
What Not to Do During a Custody Battle
1. Don’t Be Dishonest
This seems pretty obvious but bending the truth or withholding important information is almost always guaranteed to backfire. There is a big difference between putting yourself in the best light and lying about past mistakes or financial struggles.
Be honest when asked about certain situations and don’t omit anything from your story. It is best to acknowledge any difficulties and prove how you have overcome them.
In addition, fabricating or embellishing stories about your ex is also an example of being dishonest during a custody battle.
Judges have a way of getting to the bottom of things and if you lie during any point of your custody case, you lose all credibility and may also not be granted custody.
2. Don’t Rush to Move in With a New Partner
Rushing to move in with a new partner will affect the case, however unfair it may seem. Moving in with a new partner won’t necessarily make or break your case but, in the eyes of the law, you are putting your children at risk by moving them in with someone new. This person’s background and medical or family history could negatively affect your case.
3. Do Not Talk About Your Ex in a Negative Way
It’s not in your child’s best interest to hear unpleasant things about their other parent, even if you believe them to be true. This can be very upsetting for your child. It won’t do you any favors legally, either.
The judge will be looking for maturity and controlled behavior. Badmouthing your ex to your child is only going to make things worse for your case. Stay civil and try to communicate in a legal and professional manner when addressing matters about your ex.
Your willingness to cooperate with your child’s other parent is going to be a pretty big factor in your case. Judge’s consider each parent’s effort to facilitate and support one another’s relationships with the child.
4. Don’t Arrive Late or Reschedule Appointments
You’re trying to prove that you can be committed and responsible, so being on time to your visitations and various legal appointments should be of utmost importance.
Prioritize any meeting relating to the case and avoid canceling on your ex or your children. It should be clear that your children are your top priority. Don’t be late or miss an opportunity to defend yourself. If you’ve been accused of being irresponsible in the past, you don’t want to prove that to be true by not upholding your commitments.
5. Don’t Assume You Can Handle it Alone
Do your homework. Read up on custody laws in Kansas (see below). Listen to your attorney and take their advice. It’s not as easy as you think and you need to be prepared for anything that might get thrown your way during a hearing.
Custody proceedings are complex and it’s essential to get help from a qualified professional. The best advice is to work with a team that is experienced in Family Law.
6. Don’t Show Up Empty-Handed (Provide Documentation)
Prepare supporting documentation. If you honestly believe your child’s other parent could put them at risk or show signs of abuse, keep a record of all your correspondence. In order for it to be counted as evidence, anything incriminating needs to be in writing. This could be a shared word document or spreadsheet and emails or texts that can be printed.
Always provide legal documents to support other claims and proof of earnings and responsibilities. It’ll show that you’re prepared and desire to keep everything above board. Your attorney will also discuss exactly what documentation the courts will want to see.
7. Don’t Disappear
Disappearing is at the top of the list of things not to do during a custody battle. This could seriously harm your case. This is due to the trauma that it will cause your child, proving that you don’t have their best interest in mind.
Even if you leave the state or the country, you must always remain reachable. In fact, a custodial parent can’t relocate without court approval. If you do go away for business or pleasure, stay in regular contact with your attorney and keep on top of any appointments.
8. Don’t Ignore What the Court is Asking You to Do
Again, this is the time to show the courts how committed and responsible you are. If you are asked to take parenting classes or seek counseling, do so as soon as possible. View these things as an opportunity to demonstrate just how far you’re willing to go for your kids instead of being a burden.
9. Don’t Use Your Children to Win Custody
The whole experience will be traumatic enough for your children, unfortunately, this is inevitable however civil you remain. One of the main things not to do during a custody battle is to use your children as pawns or weapons. It won’t help your reputation in court. Protect them from any unpleasantness as much as possible, for their own good.
If you need legal assistance with anything pertaining to child custody in Kansas, get in touch with us today. Our team at Oswald Law understands how stressful and difficult this situation can be and we want to find the best outcome and help you navigate the process.