Common Mistakes to Avoid During Custody Battles

Are you fighting for custody of your children? If so, what you say and do during the custody battle could significantly impact the outcome of your case. Knowing what not to do during a custody battle is as important as knowing what to do. In this blog, our North Carolina divorce attorney explains the seven most common mistakes parents make during a custody case.

Talking Bad About the Other Parent in Front of the Children

You are angry and hurt. Child custody cases are very emotional. Therefore, the urge to blast the other parent is common. However, if you give in to these urges, your conduct could be used as an example of parental alienation.

However, you should not talk about the other parent in front of or to your children. Degrading a parent can hurt a child’s well-being, which the court may view harshly when determining a child’s best interest in custody matters.

Denying Visitation Without a Valid Reason

You may not like your child spending time with your ex-partner. Denying visitation could hurt you in your custody case. Even if your ex refuses to pay child support, you cannot deny visitation.

If you have a good faith belief that your child is in danger or is being harmed, contact your lawyer immediately and the police, if necessary. However, making false allegations of abuse or neglect can also be harmful in a child custody case.

Failing to Obey a Court Order

Judges do not view contempt of court kindly in any situation, including child custody cases. Talk with your lawyer if you believe you have a legal reason for disobeying a court order. They can file a motion with the court seeking a modification of the order.

Refusing to Cooperate or Compromise

The courts expect parents to cooperate in developing a parenting plan and visitation schedules that are in the best interests of their children. Refusing to compromise and cooperate could be seen as an inability to co-parent effectively. You must fight to protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests but also be willing to compromise when necessary.

Exercising Poor Judgment on Social Media

Social media is neither private nor privileged. If you post online, it can be used against you. Therefore, never talk about your ex online. Show constraint when posting about your personal life (i.e., don’t post pictures of you having a wild night out). It is best to assume that your ex could obtain anything you post online or put in writing to use against you in a child custody case.

Taking the Kids on Vacation Without Notifying Their Other Parent

It is aggravating to tell your ex about your plans to go on vacation because you feel it is none of their business. However, if you intend to take your children on vacation, you need to tell your ex about your plans. Even if you are not leaving North Carolina, you can avoid problems by letting your ex know you plan to go out of town with the kids.

Using a Child to Monitor the Other Parent

Never use your child to spy on your ex. You should keep tabs on what your ex is doing without stalking them. For example, keep a journal detailing when your ex misses visitation or fails to attend an important event or appointment. However, do not ask your child about your ex’s life or what your ex says about you. On the other hand, if your child volunteers information, note it in your journal and tell your attorney.

Learn More About Child Custody During a Confidential Consultation

There are other things parents do that hurt their child custody case. One is failing to hire an experienced North Carolina child custody lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you avoid mistakes that could hurt your custody case. Contact Greene, Wilson, Crow & Smith to schedule a confidential consultation with a North Carolina divorce lawyer to discuss your situation.