[P]reviously we discussed 7 Father Secrets Before Attempting Custody and Being Mr. Mom Increases a Father’s Possibility for Custody. Now we need to covered steps you can take to boost your chances of gaining (or keeping) custody of your children. This time we’ll highlight the opposing view, what parents often do to hurt their chances of getting custody. These activities are sabotaging your custody case.
Not Being the Primary Caregiver
In most families, one parent takes care of the children’s needs. That parent, who sees after the child on a daily basis has the advantage in a case. If you lack a strong relationship with your child (and the more documented, the better), a court might find it difficult in determining that you are the parent better able to care for your child.
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Judges and courts take drug/alcohol abuse seriously. If accused, allegations can be legitimized through testing, evaluations and interviews. If you have an alcohol or drug abuse problem, get help immediately, otherwise the other parent will have a strong case against you; and it may cost you joint custody or visitation.
Showing Lack of Control
A parent seeking custody should always be “in a good manner” and maintain control in tense situations. A parent with a history of anger-related issues, especially if it involves physical attacks will be at a disadvantage in a custody case. Again, if you have a history of out-of-control behavior, counseling could help.
Disparaging the other Parent
Maintain respect to the other parent. Judges frown on parents who demean their one-time partner. If this is proven the case, you will likely lose. If the other parent has a serious problem, address the problem as it relates to the behavior, not the parent specifically. Again, documented issues/conflicts will strengthen your case. This was a big element in my case as my Ex could rarely say anything nice about me, not even in court.
You can do everything right and still lose, nothing can guarantee your winning custody. However, you can strengthen your position, give you more credibility with the judge and give you added confidence when dealing with the court.
What have you seen others do to sabotage their custody case? What other elements should a parent NOT do?
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