Fighting for custody over your child(ren) is probably the hardest and most emotional thing you’ll have to do when your relationship or marriage comes to an end. While courts have traditionally awarded custody to the mother, times are changing as society’s perception of the family evolves. Fathers are proving time and time again that they are equally or better suited to parenting their children. However, there are some common mistakes you can and should avoid because they can hurt your case for custody.
Leaving the Marital Home
When the relationship is at an end, you just want a clean split. However, leaving the home where your children live can be detrimental to your case. Moving away from your children hurts them emotionally and will likely make you look bad in the eyes of a judge. Before moving out, always consult an attorney to make sure you don’t lose your parental rights.
Moving Out of Your Current School District
If you do decide to move out, you must take care to stay in your children’s school district. Divorce is devastating enough without your kids having to leave their classes, teachers, and friends behind. Staying within your local school district will help the judge see that you understand the importance of stability in your children’s lives.
Not Spending Enough Time With Your Kids
Courts will always favor a stable upbringing for your children. By spending time with them doing the things they love to do, you’re proving that you’re an involved parent who deserves time with them. Take them bike riding, help them with their homework, or play some board games. Anything to make memories and improve the relationship, both in the eyes of your children and the judge.
Speaking Negatively About the Child’s Mother
Divorce is hard and sometimes your relationship with your kids’ mother will be less than civil, but you need to keep that to yourself. Speaking maliciously about her to family and friends, or worse–your kids, can cost you when it comes time for your custody hearing. This includes your activity on social media. The judge will be looking for character witnesses. If he or she finds out that you’ve been bad-mouthing the other parent in real life or online, they’ll be less inclined to award you custody.
Trying to present your case in court yourself is a bad idea. If you’re serious about custody, you need the advice of an experienced family law attorney who understands the family court system. Hiring an experienced legal professional can mean the difference in improving your chances of winning custody of your children. Another plus in having someone else handle your case is that you’ll find yourself with extra time to dedicate to your kids.
Making the wrong move during a divorce can have a lasting and potentially negative impact on your custody case. When you’re ready to start a new life that includes custody of your children, call The FAB Law Firm, LLC at (407) 495-1818 for a free 15-minute phone consultation.