The process of getting divorced is usually very stressful and painful for most of people, especially for those who have children. This fact does not make it easier for you to behave properly during your custody battle. Unfortunately, during this time you definitely need to behave according to the certain pattern if you want to win. No matter how bad your relationship with ex-wife is, behave yourself.
First, read what the most common mistakes fathers make during their battle (and avoid them):
- Alienation of affection. If you put down the other parent you just harm your children who feel totally torn between you two and thus, unhappy.
- Yelling at wife and children. Losing control over yourself, even if you do not use physical violence, never looks good. Be prepared that your behavior may be recorded and presented in front of a judge.
- It does not have to be explained, just using violence towards your family (even if it is your ex-wife) is just a crime.
- Move in with your new love. Children suffer when they must realize that their parents no longer love each other. They suffer even more when they must look at their parent’s new love.
- Criticizing mother to all and everywhere. You never know who will take your side in the conflict. This kind of behavior can be treated as alienation of affection.
- Avoiding child support payments. In this way you show your disrespect for court and lack of concern for your children.
- Damaging any property belonging to mother or her relatives. Your aggression (in various forms) is a sign that you are not a proper person to take care of children.
- Not allowing for mom’s telephone contact with children when they are with you. This is another sign of alienation of affection.
- Taking children somewhere without informing mother. It may seem that you are trying to kidnap them.
- Picking up/removing children from school/daycare and taking them with you without informing mother. This may also bring some suspicions that you are trying to kidnap children. Besides, your wife will surely want the judge to see a list of school absences which children have because of you.
Then, it is a good idea to know what is expected from you. Judges look at your children’s good in the first place. Here you can find some of the considerations and criteria which your judge will take into account:
- The length of time that the child has been under the actual care and control of any person other than a parent and the circumstances relevant thereto;
- the desires of the parents as to residence-agreements reached by the parents and submitted to the court are usually presumed to be in the child’s best interest;
- the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
- the child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
- the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
- any evidence or allegation of spousal abuse;
- any evidence or allegation of child abuse on this or any other child;
- whether either parent is required to register as a sex offender;
- whether a parent is residing with a person who is required to register as a sex offender;
- whether a parent has been convicted of abuse of a child;
- whether a parent is residing with a person who has been convicted of abuse of a child.