[P]reviously, we discussed steps you can take to gain child custody. While following those steps can work to your advantage, it’s not enough. This time, we’ll cover mistakes fathers often make that turn judges’ decisions against them.
Five Strategies that Will NOT Gain Child Custody. Do Not…
…arrive late for visits or pick-ups of your children. Being an adult (parent) means you honor commitments. That includes not just ‘doing’ but ‘doing on time.’ That multiplies when dealing with your children. If you claim they are a priority, then you will show that you want to spend time with them.
…refuse what the court asks. If a judge requests that you take parenting classes or get counseling, then do it without argument. Swallow your pride and go. It shows the court the lengths you will go for your children.
[tweet “Custody Tip: Do not abuse alcohol or drugs, not even marijuana.”]
…abuse alcohol or drugs. Parents set an example for their children. Make it a positive one. Don’t even give the slightest hint you are setting a bad example. Even what you might consider innocuous, such as marijuana, is viewed as a negatively by the courts.
…include child care as part of the custody discussions. This can give the court the impression you are more concerned with your reducing payments rather than spending time with your child. And unless the court requires it, do not involve your children in any divorce discussion. All aspects of the divorce proceedings should be kept in the court.
…give up. Continue pursuing your parental rights. Being granted joint-custody rights is a great stepping-stone for eventually gaining full custody. Over years, situations change, and your chances of gaining full custody can grow. For example, if you are following what you should and shouldn’t do, and your Ex isn’t, then you strengthen your position. Take copious notes and keep your attorney updated on what she does and doesn’t do.
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