Child custody battles can be one of the most stressful situations that a parent and their family can go through. The first step you should take in dealing with your child custody battle is hiring trustworthy legal counsel. Choosing the right lawyer for your family’s case can make or break the outcome. The next step is knowing how to protect your children through this process and control your emotions to maximize your chances of custody over your children.
There are many “Do’s” and “Don’ts” in a child custody battle which can help you better prepare yourself for the journey ahead; read on to learn more.
1. DO: Explain What is Going on to Your Children
Divorce can be a traumatic experience for children of all ages, especially younger ones. Often, this process can make them feel guilty, leading to mixed emotions towards both parents. Trust is a significant component to helping your child cope with the circumstances that they are in. Even if your children are young, there are ways in which you can explain the situation to validate their emotions and help them understand what is going on.
2. DON’T: Exclude Your Children from the Reality of the Case
For some parents discussing these situations with their children can seem complicated, and ultimately, it is avoided at all costs. However, it could be causing more harm than good. Children are very in tune with their emotions and need help understanding the world around them from a trusting adult. Not explaining the circumstance to your children can create even more confusion and negative emotions, leaving them closed off from you and other trusting adults in their life.
3. DO: Work to Cooperate With the Other Parent
Working as a team with your ex-spouse can seem nearly impossible, especially with so many emotions involved. Even if you never want to speak to their other parent again, you need to learn to rise above the situation at hand to co-parent as best as possible. Although this can be difficult, try to think of the best interest of the children.
4. DON’T: Make the Situation More Difficult
You don’t always have to see eye to eye with an ex-spouse. But, when children are involved, it’s essential to leave your ego aside and address any concerning issues at hand with an open mind. By refusing to cooperate with another parent, the ability to co-parent becomes nearly impossible.
5. DO: Control What You Say About the Other Parent
From a young age, we teach our children that words hurt. When they see you speaking negatively about their other parent, it can create further confusion and often teach them the opposite. Instead, teach them that when you have nothing nice to say, you don’t say anything at all.
6. DON’T: Speak Negatively About the Other Parent
Sometimes when our emotions get the best of us, we often say and do things that we regret later on. Speaking negatively about another parent can be used against you in court and harmful to young children who idolize and love both parents.
7. DO: Keep Your Life Private
Although social media is a big part of many people’s lives, it is not a place to turn to when angry or to share private moments in your life, especially when involved in a child custody case. By keeping your life off of social media, you can prevent evidence from being used against you in court.
8. DON’T: Post Negative Things on Social Media
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, find inspiration, and much more. However, in today’s world, many people use social media to escape from their current reality and often allow a bridge to form between that reality and their private lives. We see it all too often; people take to social media in a fit of rage and end up sharing information that can be detrimental to their cases. Even after deleting the status update or picture is too late to prevent the storm that has been created. During a child custody battle, your spouse can use even the most harmless social media post against you. Therefore, staying aware of what you post online is essential.
9. DO: Keep Documentation
Documentation will help you create a solid defense during a child custody battle. It is concrete evidence that the judge will use to help make their final decision. Proper documentation can also help you present your case in a more organized fashion.
10. DON’T: Rely on He Said She Said
Word of mouth can be detrimental to your case. Although the judge will consider evidence such as testimony, it’s important to note that you should never rely on this for evidence to prove your standing.
Here at Cobb Cole Law, our family law attorneys know what it takes to help you win your child custody battle. We have been helping Daytona Beach families for over 95 years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.