10 mistakes Not to make while fighting for custody

The separation of parents will be a complicated situation for children at best, and a devastating experience for them at worst. Your goal throughout, is to be the absolute best parent that you can possibly be. This will not only be beneficial to your children but it is ultimately what the courts want to see in deciding custody issues. Decisions that you make during this process can be life changing.  The following are examples of common mistakes that parents make during custody issues:

  1. Due to strained relationships with ex’s, contact with children may become interrupted or even discontinued. There are many factors that might be obstacles to maintaining relationship with your children, however, DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! Do everything within your power to maintain a relationship with your children. They need you during this time and the relationship that you have is what the courts will be looking at.
  2. Losing touch with your children’s day to day activities and contacts is another big mistake. Keep in contact with their day cares, teachers, coaches, physicians, as well as playmates and their families. Make sure that you are listed as an emergency contact for them in case of any medical emergency.
  3. Be cooperative and timely regarding any information or documentation that is requested of you by an attorney or by the courts. They are looking for the best possible situation for your children so let your life be an open book. Give them what they need so that they can make the best possible decision.
  4. The courts are only doing their jobs to help your children. Often times they will require supervised visits and/or counseling. Do not fight this or take it personal. Cooperate fully so that they see that you are willing to put your children’s welfare above your own needs.
  5. Full disclosure is always best because lies can come back at you later and cost you and your children dearly. The truth is always the best practice no matter what the circumstances and that is what the courts are looking for. Remember no one likes to be lied to, especially a judge!
  6. Avoid losing your temper or exhibiting bad behavior with your children or your ex. Not only can this be detrimental to your children but it can show up in court later and hurt your case. Be willing to walk away rather than do something rash that you will regret!
  7. Make sure that you know and assert your legal rights as a parent.  Speak up when necessary, but appropriately! Don’t let attorneys or the court system intimidate you. The attorney works for you.  Remember that you are fighting for your children.
  8. Little situations can become big issues when they are not ‘nipped in the bud’. When too many little things are not immediately dealt with, they can grow into a big problem. Take care of situations as they arise, that immediate effort will pay off down the line.
  9. Like it or not,  your ex will continually be part of your life, birthdays, graduations, weddings, grand kids, etc.  Remember that your children love both parents and are placed in a difficult situation. Always do your best to maintain a positive relationship with your children’s other parent. This will truly make life easier for all involved, including yourself!
  10. Dealing with ex’s can be challenging to say the least. Often there is hurt, betrayal, anger and bitterness in broken relationships.  These emotions can lead to ugly verbal confrontations at the very least and actual physical violence at the very worst. Avoid these at all cost! Again, be willing to walk away. It can only hurt your children and come back and be  used against you in court.

If you are looking for help to get some type of custody with your child or children, please contact a Parent Advoate at aboutthechildren.org

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Posted in Child Custody
12 comments on “10 mistakes Not to make while fighting for custody
  1. […] 10 mistakes Not to make while fighting for custody (aboutthechildrenllc.wordpress.com) […]

  2. I hope I never need this information, but I’m glad it is out there for those who do.

  3. Reblogged this on About The Children LLC's Blog and commented:

    Also, this post should be informative and receive higher exposure now.

  4. Staciebeth says:

    I am in some desperate need of some really good help..a lot of stuff has been going on too long with him still trying to control me and use my don as a pawn..keeping my 4 year old from days at a time and will not answer my calls after already telling my little one I’d call to say good nite!:( it’s been such a long year and thought 2013 would get better..but it hasn’t..all and any lawyers want $$ and my family lives states away! Help!!!!! Lol

    • Hello Stacie,

      How far do you currently live from your son right now? Also, have you and the father been to court overt his situation yet? As we have informed many other parents, the best way to get this resolved when you cant agree with one another is to get a well-defined court order that’s signed by a family court judge. It looks like you submitted your information for one of our advocates to contact you so you should hear from someone today. We understand this is difficult going thru this issue right now. We’d be happy to see how we can help you out.

  5. Devin Harrison says:

    My ex and I do have an existing court order. Our daughter is 14 years old and was living with me in NH. She went to Florida for Christmas vacation and decided she wanted to stay. Now she wants to come back because her dad and his wife are constantly fighting. She can not even call me unless her dad or his wife is in the same room. My phone # is blocked so I can’t even call our daughter. Is our daughter of age to decide who she wants to live with? I feel that she is not in a safe environment and they are controlling her every move. Please help me with this very sad situation. I do not know where to go to file any paperwork in this matter and need help doing so.
    Thank You

    • Hello Devin,

      Keep in mind we are not a law firm, so any information provided here or our affiliates should not be considered legal advice.

      What does your existing court order state? If you are the signed primary care giver, and it accounts for the fact that you and the father live in different states, then you should be able to go down to Florida and take her back to New Hampshire. You can show a copy of the order to the FL county police if you run into any trouble.
      To answer your question about the age a child can state where they want to live, every state and some counties are even different – usually the age ranges from 11-16 depending on the state. However, a judge is the one to ultimately make any decisions where a child is to live.
      Review you current order, and if certain items we just mentioned aren’t listed you might want to consider going back to court to get the order modified, which we can help you with. Hope this helps and you are able to get your daughter back without going to court again.

  6. Kristy says:

    I am at a situation where my marriage life has long gone. I moved here in the mainland because my husband is in the military service. I from hawaii and all my relatives are there. Because of some marital problems, (infidelity, alcoholism, verbal abuse, trust issues) I now realize that it’s over. we have a child who is less than a year old and as much as possible I want to take him with me back in Hawaii. I am not saying that my husband doesnt deserve our son but he has alcohol problems, emotionally unstable and he also threatened my life with a gun while pregnant (well he was drunk and he probably didnt know what he was saying or doing). He told me I dont have any rights because I dont have a current job, and that I live with my parents and my siblings (extended family) and that I would lose my custody. He told me he would sue me for kidnapping our child if I take him without his consent. What should I do? I cant drive because I have dependend on buses in Hawaii. But I am trying to learn how to drive and I am doing my best.

    • Hi Kristy,

      You stated good questions about your circumstances. Please remember we are not a law firm so this should not be considered legal advice or counsel. We encourage you to discuss this matter in detail with an experienced family attorney in your area and we can send you some referrals if you like.

      That said, if you are fearful for your life and the life of your child you should contact the police. Do you have records, photos, video of the incidents you described? If not, start documenting everything that happens. Hearsay, isn’t considered fact.

      One of the best ways to protect yourself is to get into family court and get an order in place. We specifically help parents prepare the documents they will need to file for any kind of these requests. Since you plan to return to Hawaii with your child, you definitely want to get something in place that’s solid and enforceable.
      Let us know how else we can help and if you want to talk with a representative. Also, if you want some referrals to talk to, please let us know what your county and state you currently reside in.

  7. kay says:

    My son is starting divorce proceedings this week, he works at a good job. His wife hasn’t taken proper care of the kids….no regular baths, she doesn’t cook at all on weekends, she doesn’t work, she doesn’t keep a clean house, she has class 4 nights a week and usually goes out on Saturday night all while my son who works keeps the girls. She had spring break and didn’t tell my son and left the house for 4 evenings on pretense of having class. Last summer she left my 15 month old gr daughter in a car while she went in to get the older girl at daycamp. She was caught having an affair, and has other men she constantly texts or calls. She I feel has been emotionally abusive to my son. She use to post photos of her nights out even while pregnant, I don’t if she drank she did brag a few times about drinking while pregnant. She has commented many times she’s lazy, has told my son repeatedly “the girls stress me out” Is this a good start on my son seeking custody?

    • Hi Kay, it sounds like your son is concerned for the children’s well being and wants to do something about it. This is the first step in any family legal matter. If you’re son wants to enforce his rights as their father, and provide a more stable environment for them, getting a court order dictating that is a good way to go about it. Getting a court order signed by a judge is a great way to get something official that not only protects himself, but the children as well. It’s really as simple as filing the correct documents, getting your story in the judges hands so that what your son is asking for makes sense to them and shows them they he has the girls’ best interests in mind. Please pass along our contact information so he can call and speak to a representative about how we can help him with his situation. Thank you for writing to us.

      (800) 787-4981

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