What Not To Do In a Custody Battle

Photo of couple arguing

Litigation over custody is both complicated and emotional. That confusion and emotional involvement unfortunately leads many parents to take irrational steps that hamper their cases.

Keeping perspective when facing a custody dispute

It is common for parents to get caught up in a fight over parenting time and in the process lose sight of the impact it will have on their children and in the court. But just because something is common does not mean you should overlook it. We see too many parents fall into these traps that you should avoid:

#1: Put down the other parent

When one parent continually puts down the other, the child feels the need to choose between them. Courts look toward the best interests of the child and judges are reluctant to grant primary custody to a parent showing visible animosity toward the other because it is unhealthy for the children. It is good practice to keep your opinions to yourself.

#2: Try to handle it on your own

Even if you think you know everything there is to know about divorce and custody fights from reading articles, watching court television shows, or hearing about your friends’ legal battles, you do not. There will be legal implications to decisions that those who do not practice regularly in the family law realm will not comprehend. It is important to speak with a child custody lawyer because what you do now can impact your family arrangements for a very long time to come.

#3: Fight over everything

If ever there is a time to choose your battles, this is it. There very well may be issues worth taking a stand on but there are likely many more that are not crucial. In the adversarial process of custody litigation, too many parents fight over less important things that do not actually reflect the ex’s suitability as a parent. You may not like the variety of breakfast cereal your ex feeds your child for breakfast but it likely does not mean they are unfit to parent so learn to look the other way on nonessential topics.

#4: Lapse on your duties

The court process can lead some people to think of parenting as a transaction – if one parent has not made a child support payment, the other may try to withhold visitation, or vice versa. In reality, your duties are to your children so trying to punish the other parent by not following through on your responsibilities will hurt the kids – and you, since judges do not take kindly to these kinds of actions. Even if you do not think you are given enough time with the kids, make the most of it, follow through on scheduled calls, show up at soccer games, and keep paying your child support.

Child custody lawyers in Rockland and Bergen County

As committed child custody lawyers in Bergen County, NJ and Rockland County, NY, we at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, we know the potential case pitfalls that parents can fall into. We help clients understand how to put the best foot forward for a positive resolution. If you would like to speak with one of our child custody lawyers, call (201) 576-8134.

Additional Resources:

  1. Very Well Family, Dos and Don’t’s for Winning Child Custody, https://www.verywellfamily.com/dos-and-donts-for-winning-child-custody-2998180
  2. Huffington Post, What Not to Do in a Custody Battle, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/ashley-tate-cooper/what-not-do-in-a-custody-_b_9091242.html