Common Mistakes of Child Custody, Visitation and Support

Avoid Seven Common Mistakes

  • Failing to be very specific with parenting time. Be very clear about your children’s parenting time, vacation times, holiday times, etc., the easier the process will be on your children because they will have some routine when the rest of their routines have been interrupted.
  • Fighting in Court. The judge or mediator already knows you disagree with the other parent. Take the high road and show that you are responsible, mature, and organized.
  • Using Threats. Threatening your child's parent with limited or complete denial of visitation can cause a parent to feel terrified. Threats can really be painful, so if you are faced with any, do not respond to them and do not issue threats either. Feel confident if you’ve been a responsible and good parent. You cannot be denied for being a good parent.
  • Being Unrealistic About Expectations Divorce involves splitting your current household into two. You both may now have a fraction of what you once had. Be tight with budgets if you have to. Plan ahead to avoid financial problems.
  • Poor Communication with YOUR Attorney. Don’t blindly assume that she will magically win your case for you. Your attorney can only work with what she knows, i.e., what you tell her. If you can’t give her the right ammunition she needs to persuade the judge to rule in your favor, it will severely hurt your case.
  • Watch Your Actions Outside the Courtroom. Judges won’t give custody to a parent whose main focus does not appear to be the best interest of the child...actions speak louder than words or your good intent! Again, this means you must appear to be a mature, responsible parent who makes reasonable decisions. You want to show that you have a safe, stable home.
  • Using Your Kids as Pawns. Never use your children as messengers or ask them to side against your spouse no matter what she may have done. Do let your kids know expectations of the legal process. Children value structure and predictability from their parents.