One of the most difficult outcomes of a divorce is not living in the same home with your kids all the time. This is why reaching a child custody agreement can become a tense and heated component of the divorce process.
Since children are involved, it is important that you and your future ex navigate the subject of custody mature and healthy manner. You want to give the children an assurance that they still have both parents even after divorce and separation.
To ensure that your children’s best interest is taken into account, here are common mistakes that you need to avoid during the custody trial.
Showing disrespect to the court
While this is pretty straightforward, it is not unusual for one parent to disregard existing court orders. It is important that you respect and comply with every court directive no matter how much you may disagree with it. If the judge directs that you sign up for a parenting class, be sure to comply. If the court orders a custody evaluation, be sure to cooperate with the evaluator. You risk being held in contempt if you disregard the court orders.
Putting your needs ahead of the children’s
In all fairness, your children have absolutely nothing to do with the mess you are in. You may want to crawl up into a ball and vanish into thin air, but at this critical phase in your children’s lives, it is important that you put their needs ahead of yours. Grab a book or two and try to learn what divorce means for children. Take them to counselling if you think this might help them cope with the divorce. It is important that you work with your future ex to understand what is in your children’s best interest. Do not attempt to disparage the other parent in front of the children or obstruct any existing visitation order.
Divorce can have far-reaching implications for everyone involved. If you have decided to end the marriage, it is important that you do everything in your power to safeguard your children’s interests. Besides hurting your custody case, these mistakes can also hurt your future relationship with the children.