5 Mistakes that Could Be Highly Destructive in Your Florida Child Custody Case

When you’re in the middle of a contentious divorce, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by bitterness and anger over the issues that ended the relationship. A child custody dispute can make the situation even more heated. Don’t let negative emotions cloud your judgment and lead to destructive behavior or poor decision-making. Otherwise, you risk presenting yourself as an unfit parent and seriously hurting your child custody case.

Below is a list of 5 mistakes to steer clear of to avoid sabotaging an equitable child custody arrangement.

Unreasonably Withholding Visitation from Your Ex

No matter how much you want to punish your ex, refrain from doing so by refusing to let him or her see the children. Once a visitation schedule has been established, it can only be changed by court order. The only exception is if you witness or have reason to suspect a real and immediate threat, such as neglect or physical abuse. Even then, consult your attorney before interfering, as judges do not take kindly to parents who appear to be using their children to hurt the ex spouse. Your attorney can place an emergency motion before the court if such dangers are present.

Badmouthing the Other Parent in Front of the Children

Do not drag the children into the personal vendetta between you and your ex. That means no complaining about, denigrating, or otherwise badmouthing him or her in front of them. Not only does such behavior confuse and hurt the children because you are speaking illy of someone they love, but it shows the court you are unable to co-parent and will likely try to keep the children from forming a meaningful relationship with the other parent. Parental alienation has been a game-changer in many custody disputes, as family courts regard such tactics as contrary to the best interests of the children.

Acting Out on Social Media

You probably see your Twitter or Facebook accounts as private spaces where you can vent about your ex and receive support and validation from friends and followers. The truth is that social media tantrums can – and do – come to the attention of a judge during custody disputes. These posts are public, and if you do or say things that create a negative impression of you, the damage to your child custody case can be irreparable.

Getting in Trouble with the Law

When deciding custody, the courts are focused on the best interests of the child. If you get arrested in the middle of a custody battle, your ex and his or her attorney can present you as an unfit parent. If you are presented as a perpetrator of domestic violence, your chances of winning custody can even diminish completely in some instances. So control your anger, seek counselling if you need it, and stay out of legal trouble.

Refusing to Listen to Your Attorney

Your family law attorney has probably been a participant (or at least an onlooker) in some hotly contested custody trials, so their advice is both informed and valuable. Do not let stress or anger cause you to dismiss their guidance and do something that can lead to the loss of your custody case.

If you are facing a contested custody trial, call Annette Sanchez Law today. We have the experience necessary to help clients navigate the legal and personal challenges that child custody disputes create, and will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome for you.

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