As a parent, your child custody case may be the most important legal case of your life. Naturally, you want to be able to maintain the bond you have with your child even after a divorce. The time you spend with your child is priceless, and it becomes a highly coveted commodity when you’re forced to split that time with your ex.
Here are five mistakes you should avoid during your Minnesota child custody case to maximize your chances of receiving a favorable custody order.
Refusing to compromise with your ex
You and your ex split up for a reason. A breakup or divorce often occurs due to infidelity, betrayal, or after years of hurt feelings, so you may not be the best of friends with your co-parent. Still, you should be prepared to cooperate for the sake of your child. When you refuse to agree to a reasonable custody agreement out of court, you’ll be forced to go to court to have a judge decide your fate. If you’re willing to consider compromising, it will benefit both you and your child.
Disobeying a court order
Your custody case may take a while to resolve, so the court will probably order some type of temporary parenting plan in the meantime. You might be tempted to ignore this order and keep your child with you, but this action could hurt your case in the long run. It doesn’t look good when you disregard the judge’s order, and it may make you seem less responsible when it comes time to determine your long-term custody arrangement.
Not keeping track of evidence
When you get to court for your custody case, you’ll have the chance to present your side to a judge. Your argument will be much more compelling if you have evidence to support your assertions: witnesses, emails, text messages, voicemails, audio recordings, schedules, school records, and police reports concerning your ex are all helpful. Even a personal journal can be compelling evidence, but you must pay close attention to detail when recording dates, times, and other details. Your St. Paul child custody lawyer will offer helpful suggestions for keeping track of important information related to the case.
Posting about the case on social media
What happens on social media may stay there forever, and it usually can be used as evidence in a custody case. Don’t post about the case on social media, even to “vent” about how it’s going. You should also resist the urge to talk about your ex on your Facebook or Instagram account; if this behavior is brought up in court, a judge may view it as being detrimental to your child and their relationship with the other parent. That’s not a good look when you’re trying to demonstrate your commitment to a healthy relationship with your child and your ex.
Not working with an attorney
You may think you can come to an agreement with your spouse without involving a St. Paul child custody mediation lawyer. This is rarely successful because of the highly emotional nature of a child custody case. Even when parents do reach an agreement, it may not be the best option for the child’s well-being or address all of the child’s longer-term needs.
What initially seems like a great arrangement may turn into a nightmare as the years go by. It’s important that you realize your child custody order may be very difficult to change once it’s approved by a judge. A St. Paul child custody attorney will help you make sure the arrangement you negotiate with your ex is truly in your child’s best interests – and yours, too.
St. Paul family lawyers Allison Maxim and Tara Smith understand the important and lasting implications that can result from a child custody order. They’ll help you prepare all the evidence you need to present a compelling case so you can be sure you’ve done everything in your power to receive a fair custody arrangement. Schedule your initial virtual consultation here.