Fighting for custody is very difficult, as both parents have equal rights. For that reason it is very important to make a good impression in court. Here are some mistakes that can decrease your chances of winning.
Not being there when it matters
Not being there for every court hearing proves lack of interest and responsibility. Also, by being there, you are certain no important decisions are taken in your absence. Unless it harms your case, and in such event, you should be informed why, there is no reason for you to skip any court hearing. You also need to be there whenever your lawyer tells you to. Set up appointments, return calls or provide the documents as you are requested. This will make your lawyer’s job easier and will also help you get all the information you need.
You hired the wrong lawyer
A good lawyer will not tell you what you want to hear, but will make sure you understand your situation. Pay attention to unrealistically low fees as well. You may be penny-wise but pound-foolish. Ask questions and make sure you’re not letting the lawyer decide on your behalf. Make sure you understand the lawyer’s strategy and why it is best for your case. Harassing your ex should not be on the agenda.
You got on the wrong foot with the judge
Judges take very personally conflictual situations between parts. Since they can sanction any misbehavior in court, be very careful with your reactions during trials. This includes making faces and noises and they might be taken as personal offense.
Letting your parents get too involved
If your parents provide you with moral and financial support, then you’re very lucky. But if they share their opinion about the ex in public, you have very good chances of losing custody. Why? Because letting parents badmouth your ex will turn you into the alienating parent. Times have changed and if they don’t know what helps and what doesn’t, then prepare for the worst.
The need factor
Often mothers claim that their children have some disabilities and need them. If children are dysfunctional in any way while being in the mother’s care will make the judge wonder about how well the child is treated. What does make a good impression is proving that the child made tremendous progress while being in your care. Posing as a capable parent will do wonders for your case.
Poor parenting skills
When fighting for custody it is very important to point out your strengths and prove you are best fit to care for the child. The children’s preferences about who is to take care of them don’t really matter, but their best interest does. If your ex is not fit to win custody, bring evidence and build rational arguments. Bear also in mind that if children misbehave towards your ex, you will be blamed for having bad parenting skills.
Asking for more than you actually need
Child support is a great help for single parents. But if you suddenly decide you want to renegotiate what you’re getting, it might backfire. Fighting over money often leads people to lose control over their lives. Since the mental health state of the child is at risk when going through such conflictual situation, often judges decide to hand over the custody to the other parent.