8 Mistakes Parents Make In Child Custody Cases
Child custody cases are often contentious. Judges are consistently reviewing evidence to determine which parent should be awarded custody, based on the child’s best interests. However, sometimes parents engage in behavior that is not conducive to their child’s best interest during the case, which could negatively impact their ability to obtain custody. The following article will provide some helpful information regarding common mistakes that parents make in child custody cases.
- Letting negative emotions cloud your judgement: Often parents’ dislike of their other parent causes them to act in ways that are contrary to their child’s best interest. Because judges award custody by considering a child’s best interests, parents cannot be tempted to allow their personal animosity for the other parent to become paramount to their child’s needs.
- Withholding visitation: Though a parent may feel justified in withholding visitation from the other parent (for example, because that parent is behind on child support payments), visitation should never be withheld from the other parent unless there is a valid court order to that effect. Courts take withholding visitation very seriously and under Florida law, judges can take several disciplinary actions against a parent who does so.
- Moving the child from his school district: Many judges do not believe that a child’s best interests are served by removing that child from a familiar environment, especially if there is no real justification for doing so (such as moving for a new employment opportunity).
- Refusing to cooperate with the other parent: Courts want parents to cooperate as much as possible regarding the needs of their children. Before coming to court, parents should try to come to terms regarding their children’s school schedules, extracurricular activities, medical appointments, etc.
- Talking negatively about the other parent to the child: You should aim never to badmouth the other parent in front of your child. Not only is it damaging to your child, it shows the court that you are more concerned with your negative feelings towards the other parent than ensuring your child’s best interests are met.
- Not being prepared: When possible you should make sure that you arrange your work schedule around your children’s needs, which includes having alternate transportation plans available and researching potential daycare centers. You should also keep a journal of important events with regard to the way your current custody arrangement is (or is not) working.
- Not adhering to court orders: Court orders are not suggestions; you must adhere to the terms of an established court order until such a time as the order is modified by a judge. If you disobey a custody order, you could be held in contempt by the judge who issued it.
- Not hiring an attorney: Custody cases can be very contentious; though you can technically represent yourself, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel. You should consider hiring a family law attorney who is specifically skilled in custody issues and who will help you achieve the specific results you are looking for.
Schedule a Consultation with an Orlando Family Law Attorney
If you need additional information about child custody issues, please contact Arwani Law Firm. Our experienced Orlando family law attorneys will answer any questions you may have regarding family law issues such as child custody and child support.