Custody battles can undoubtedly get quite ugly. There are mixed feelings, different goals from each parent, and a lot of different emotions stoking the fire. As your spouse and you both put up a fight to achieve your goal, there might come attacks; attacks on character, actions, choices you’ve made… So, you have to choose what route you want to take moving forward. What do you want for your family? There are plenty of ways to ruin custody battles, and put yourself at risk of losing it all. So, what should I avoid?
How-To Ruin Custody Battles: What Actions Blow Your Chances?
Arriving late to pick ups/ visits
One likely way to show a court that you lack dedication to the cause, is being late for pickup and drop-off. Oftentimes, these arrangements are either between the two of you, or the two of you ,and the court. Either way, being late for something you agreed upon can show the judge that you don’t make this current custody arrangement a priority. Not to mention, it shows irresponsibility and a lack of commitment to your child.
So take scheduled visits as a chance to prove that you are reliable and responsible.
Denying suggestions or orders
If a judge orders you to take parenting classes, go to therapy, or seek counseling to better your role as a parent— do it. The court is giving you a chance at redemption; a chance to right your wrongs. You’ll want to take that chance, show graciousness, and stay the path. This can show that you are willing to do what’s necessary to see your children. Also, it ensures the court that you are seeking the help you need to become the best parent possible.
Using visits or swap times as a mediation tool
Maybe you feel that some aspect of the agreement is not up to par anymore. Or, maybe, you feel that there should be a renegotiation on child support. One way to ruin custody battles? Using the precious time you have with your child, to negotiate it. Or even, if you use those few moments of swap time to try and make a plea. Ultimately, it shows that the child is not at the forefront of your mind, and that they have ulterior motives versus doing well for the right reasons. If you want to renegotiate child support, set a time with your former spouse to discuss it. Or, reach out to your lawyer. Your time with your kids should be exactly that— nothing more, nothing less.
Drug or alcohol abuse
Lastly, and most obviously, is abusing drugs or alcohol. In the event that the court finds proof that you’re using drugs or alcohol, your visitations can go right out the window. In short, when you’re trying to win custody of any sort, you want to show stability, and good decision making abilities. Therefore, it’s best to avoid anything that may indicate that you have a problem. You have to think of any way you act in public, as a chance to ruin or help your custody agreement.
If you are serious about your custody case, you want to avoid any of these actions, as they often bring harm to custody battles. Being that your ex may be looking for any way to attack your character and take custody, you must keep your actions clean and respectable.