Divorce is stressful enough. But when you add children to the equation, things can get even more complicated. Parents make several common mistakes when coming up with a child custody agreement, which can negatively impact their child’s rights and well-being. To help you avoid these pitfalls, here’s a guide to the top five worst mistakes parents make during child custody cases:
1. Not having an attorney
This is the most common mistake people make in custody cases. If you don’t have an attorney, you can expect to wait six months or more for a court date and another six months or so before your case will be resolved.
You’ll be at the mercy of any court-appointed attorney who doesn’t care about your child and wants to move on to his next case ASAP. It’s also possible that without an attorney, your child will not get any meaningful visitation with their other parent. The reason is that there aren’t enough resources for them to get help with that part of the process. The time and effort you put into hiring a family lawyer are well worth it.
You’ll save time, money, and stress because they will handle all the paperwork and ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.
2. Arguing with the other parent in front of the child
Everyone knows it’s not a good idea to argue in front of children. Still, it can be especially damaging when you argue about where your child will live and who will have custody of them.
Suppose one parent is trying to get more time with their child, and the other has primary control. In that case, any time spent arguing about it will be hurtful for both of them. The child might feel like they’re being used as a pawn in an argument between two people who no longer love each other and want to hurt each other even more than they already do by fighting over them (which is never okay).
It’s also important not to make false claims about what’s best for your children—if you think living with you would be better for your kids than living with their dad or mom, then try to prove this factually instead of just saying it out loud! This way, everyone can see how well-thought-out those claims are.
3. Not following your visitation schedule
If your child custody case includes a visitation schedule, you must follow it. If the other parent wants to change the plan, they must request that in writing and give you time to respond. You should never change the schedule without first consulting with your lawyer or making sure that a judge approves any changes.
It is important to remember that even if you have physical custody of your children, there may be some time when they spend time with their other parents. This is part of their right as well as yours!
4. Failing to understand that making false allegations of abuse can affect your case
As a father, you should understand that making false allegations of abuse is detrimental to your case. It can also negatively impact your relationship with your child. If you are falsely accused of abuse, the person who files the complaint will file a motion with the court asking them to order you not to contact your child until a hearing is held.
This hearing may be several weeks before the complaint was filed or even months later. During this time, if you have any contact with your child (even if it’s just talking on the phone), it could be considered unlawful. This act can result in criminal charges against you for violating an order of protection issued by a judge.
If you are charged with a crime, it will be up to the prosecutor’s office to decide whether they want to prosecute. They may choose not to because there is no evidence that you have abused your child. In this case, the complaint would be dismissed, and you would still have access rights unless another incident occurred between then and now.
5. Getting into new relationships before or during the divorce process
You should wait until your divorce has been finalized to begin a new relationship. If you do otherwise, the person you are dating may become a part of the custody battle. This can lead to an increased chance that they will want to be involved in raising your children. Hence, it is not usually ideal for anyone involved in child custody cases.
Also, suppose you are going through this process while dating someone new. In that case, it can cause undue stress on both parties as they try to balance their time between work and personal matters. Something that could make them less efficient at work and cause problems at home.
If you’re going through a child custody case, it’s essential to know what mistakes you can make during the process. By following these tips, you’ll be better prepared for the next time.