If you’re a father trying to win custody of his child, then you are no doubt feeling more stress than you expected. It is easy to feel like the courts are against dads. The reality is that judges are not inherently for one parent or the other – fathers tend to succumb to common pitfalls that hurt their chances at custody, though.
A judge’s primary concern is the wellbeing of the child. This is measured in several ways, but a few of the best ways you can prove that your child’s wellbeing is at the forefront of your mind is by following these do’s and don’ts.
Don’t lose your temper
Everything you do is under a microscope when you are in a custody battle. Do not allow yourself to get heated and shout during an argument. Don’t lose your head and throw an object and definitely do not physically grab or touch your soon-to-be former spouse. This not only looks bad for your case but could result in assault or abuse charges.
Stay off social media
Social media posts are being used as evidence in court more than ever. Posting an angry status about your ex may be cathartic, but you won’t be the one feeling so good when your ex’s lawyer reads it for the judge. Drunken photos while out with friends may blow off steam, but they will only be fodder for arguing you’re an unfit parent in court. It is better to just avoid social media entirely until your case is finalized.
Avoid the dating scene
Divorce leaves a major emotional wound which will need time to heal. Think twice before perusing the local singles bars. Not only is finding a new significant other be little more than an emotional band-aid, a judge may see bringing someone new into your home as instability.
Don’t use your children
Whether they realize they’re doing it or not, parents often manipulate their children emotionally. Whether they are building themselves up and tearing the other parent down in the eyes of their child or trying to convince their kids to act negatively toward their other parent, it is a surprisingly common practice and only serves to hurt you in court.
It may seem obvious, but always approach situations honestly. Do not exaggerate allegations you have against your ex, and certainly do not make things up. It may seem like a quick way to win some ground in the court room, but when they are disproven it will only poison your chances at custody.
Custody battles are difficult but try to remember that the court’s primary concern is the wellbeing of the child. Trying to be your best self each day and always trying to do right by your child are two of the best ways you can advocate for yourself to receive custody.