Child custody is often one of the most contentious issues during a divorce and can create a massive divide between parents. While some couples are able to come to a mutually acceptable arrangement on their own, couples who cannot see eye to eye have no other choice than to go to family court and seek a child custody order from a judge. When this happens, parents are essentially placing their children’s future in the hands of a judge who must decide what is best for the children’s safety and happiness.
As such, making this decision can be difficult task. Since many custody battles can involve allegations from spouses accusing each other of being neglectful or unfit to parent their children, judges are left to come up with a conclusion based on the evidence before them oftentimes without any personal knowledge or prior relationship with the children or parents. Unfortunately, parents can sometimes cause a judge to classify them as neglectful or unfit by making certain key and preventable mistakes.
The following mistakes can harm your chances of securing a favorable outcome in your custody case:
- Getting arrested: Being arrested or investigated for a crime during a custody case is one of the quickest and clearest ways a parent can cause a judge to believe they are unfit to care for their child. Arrests for offenses such as DUI/DWI can potentially provide the opposition with the opportunity to claim that you have an alcohol or substance abuse problem, while being charged for a violent crime will almost ensure that a parent will not be permitted to have unsupervised visitation time with their children.
- Violating court orders: In many cases, family courts will issue temporary orders at the beginning of a divorce or paternity action regarding custody which will stay in effect until a trial commences or a final arrangement is reached. Disobeying these orders is one of the worst mistakes a parent can make as it signals that the parent does not respect the court’s authority. Be sure to carefully read the terms of any temporary court orders in your case and strictly adhere to them at all times.
- Recklessly posting on social media: Most people are tapped into some sort of social media in the modern age. What many people do not realize is that anything sent electronically can potentially be submitted as evidence in divorce court, including text messages, emails, social media posts, and instant messages. To protect yourself against having a judge potentially seeing your posts as evidence of bad parenting, it is best to refrain from using social media altogether shortly before, during, and after your divorce.
- Refusing to communicate: Divorce can be an emotional experience and cause immense tensions to build up between spouses, oftentimes leading to breakdowns in communication. While these struggles are understandable, completely cutting off communication and refusing to cooperate can cause a parent to look bad in the eyes of the courts, increase the chances that the other parent will be awarded sole decision-making authority.
Simplify Your Custody Dispute with Mazaheri Law Firm
A custody battle can be one of the most complex issues a person can encounter in their life – and it is not one that should be handled alone. At Mazaheri Law Firm, our Oklahoma City divorce lawyers have helped countless spouses pursue amicable child custody solutions since 2009. With personalized attention and unshakable support, we can help ensure your rights as a parent are guarded every step of the way during this uncertain time.
Call (405) 414-2222 today to review your legal options in full detail.