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How To Be Successful In Child Custody Proceedings

Author: Florida Women's Law Group
Date: Jul 19 2021

How to be Successful in Child Custody Proceedings

During a divorce, child custody can be the most stressful and emotional part.  Worrying about custody and time they will be with the other parent is overwhelming.  If it is a contentious divorce, it is easy to let feelings and anger rule your emotions and behavior.  When it comes to your children these emotions can sometimes get the better of you.  During custody proceedings it is imperative that you avoid destructive behavior that can damage your case.

We have outlined ten things that you should do to be successful in your custody proceedings.

  1. Be actively involved in parenting.  Parenting and spending time with your children should be a priority.  You may have to take on responsibilities that your ex used to do and vice versa.  When you are with your children be present and active.  This does not mean every time you are with them that you are going to Disney World and shopping sprees.  Judges look more favorably when you maintain routines and do regular things with them.

  2. Continue to participate in after school and extra-curricular activities. If your children play sports, dance, are gymnasts, play an instrument or any other activity, continue to support them.  Bring them to practices and meetings.  Attend games and performances.  Sure, you ex may be there and the sight of them may fill you with rage, but your kids must come first.  You do not have to sit with them or talk to them, show up and be supportive.  It will show the judge that you are there for your child even though it is uncomfortable for you.

  3. Do NOT talk negatively about the other parent to your children. Talking poorly about your ex or involving your children in the custody proceedings will reflect poorly on you.  Judges take this very seriously and it will be a huge negative for you if you are constantly bad-mouthing the other parent. 

  4. Be cooperative and willing to co-parent with your ex. Family courts prefer that children have both parents involved in their lives.  By working with the other parent and encouraging that your children maintain a relationship with them it shows the courts that you want what is best for your children.

  5. Do not keep the other parent out-of-the-loop about the children’s lives. If you get information about your child from their teacher, coach or doctor do not keep it from the other parent.  This does not portray that you are willing to co-parent with the other person.  You do not have to speak with your ex, email or use a parenting app to relay the information.  This is not the time to be vindictive it just makes you look bad.  This also goes for making false claims about your ex.  The truth will come out and it is not in anyone’s best interest.  Lying will severely damage your chances at custody.

  6. Be careful with communication with your ex. It is easy to get so angry at your ex that you fire off a nasty text or email or leave a hate-filled voice mail.  Before you do that, take a deep breath, wait a few hours and calm down.  Your ex will save all of that and bring it to court to use against you.  It will make you look angry and unwilling to nurture a good relationship with the other parent. 

  7. Do not delegate the responsibilities to others. When it is your time with your children, do not drop them off at their grandparent’s or a friend’s house or use a sitter all the time.  Judges will make note if every time you have the children you are dumping them somewhere else.  This does not apply to daycare or after-school care if you work.  Courts look to see who the children spend time with daily, this should be the parents.

  8. Be consistent with routines. It is normal for you to you want your kids to favor spending time with you.  Florida law believes that a stable environment is in the best interest of the children.  This means maintaining a consistent bedtime and routines.  Make sure they are doing their homework and getting to school on time.  If they miss a lot of school when they are with you but have few absences with the other parent that does not look good. 

  9. Hold off on new relationships. It may be tempting to start something new but during a custody case it is a bad idea.  Your sole focus should be your children.  Judges do not look favorably upon parents starting new relationships too quickly or moving in with someone during court proceedings.  You need to be overly cautious and aware of who you are bringing around your children.  If this new person is your soulmate, they will still be there in a couple of months when this is all over.  If you must see them, do it when your ex has the kids, not around them.

  10. Hire a good family law attorney. It is hard to be objective when you are so emotionally involved.  An experienced attorney can be your advocate, help guide you through and get you to the best possible outcome.  It is crucial that you keep your emotions in check and put your feelings about your ex aside and put the children first.

Divorces are complicated and emotional especially when it comes to custody of your children, and you need an ally. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to provide you with empathetic and compassionate legal service. Trust the experienced team of attorneys at Florida Women’s Law Group who are committed to providing you a positive experience all while seamlessly handling the meticulous details.

Florida Women’s Law Group