The Dos and Don’ts of Child Custody
Winning a child custody case is all about choosing the right strategy.
There are many ways to gain custody of your children, but there are some things that you should avoid doing if you’re serious about getting shared custody. To start off, it is important to note that most courts usually assume that both parents are good people who will do what they can for their children; this assumption means that you will have a much better chance of gaining custody if you avoid doing these things.
1) Do not portray yourself as a bad parent.
Making the other parent look bad is never a good idea, especially in a child custody case where both parents are going to be looked at as being equally capable and acceptable by the court. This means that unless you have a good reason to paint the other parent as being unworthy of parenting, it is best to not say anything about them at all.
2) Do not put down your spouse in front of your children.
In addition to portraying yourself poorly, you also want to avoid bad-mouthing your ex in front of the judge and more importantly, in front of your kids. Even if you feel the other parent is not right for your children, it is best to keep your negative feelings private so that you do not give the judge cause to believe that one of you is unfit.
3) Do not try to take over parenting responsibilities while the case is being settled.
Courts do not take kindly to parents trying to prove a point by doing something behind the other parent’s back. Taking custody without permission during a case is seen as an attempt to try and take control of your children, which could result in the judge imposing stricter visitation restrictions on you.
4) Do not be capricious or inconsistent with parenting time.
If you are the one with custody, it is best to not behave in an unpredictable manner. The other parent may try to use your behavior as evidence that you are not fit to care for the children. This means that if you suddenly start refusing child support payments or become inconsistent about having your ex pick up your kids on scheduled days, then there is a good chance that the judge will see your behavior as being unfit.
5) Do not ask for more time with the kids than you are getting.
It is best to try and settle on parenting schedules between yourselves before going to court, rather than trying to gain an advantage by asking for additional visitation rights. This reduces the chances of having to go back to court with your ex, which could result in stricter visitation schedules.
6) Do not demand custody later on.
If you are currently unhappy about your parenting time with the kids then it is best to sit down and work out agreement that is fair for all parties involved. Requesting custody of the children once the case is closed will only result in more hassle and expense.
If you ensure that none of these things happen, then your chances of gaining shared custody of your kids will be increased significantly.
If you are interested in retaining a lawyer for a child custody case in Jacksonville FL, then talk to an attorney now about your options. Call us at (904) 396-5557 or fill out the form for a free consultation.