Major Child Custody Mistakes To Avoid

Going through a divorce can be very difficult for any couple, but the entire process can be even harder when children are involved. Child custody is often one of the most contested issues in a divorce and the hardest point to settle. While it is easy to become emotional about the topic of child custody during your divorce, it is extremely important to remain calm and keep your cool. Unfortunately, many parents become overwhelmed and emotional about child custody, which can lead to issues. If you're in the process of filing for divorce and you and your spouse share children, avoid making the following child custody mistakes:

Not Hiring a Family Law Attorney

Child custody involves a lot more than just splitting time between parents. There are many important custody issues that must be settled, such as who has legal custody, how holidays will be handled and taking vacations out of state, just to name a few. Most people without a legal background don't have the expertise or experience needed to navigate child custody issues on their own. Don't make the mistake of trying to settle custody without the assistance of an experienced family law attorney — doing so will almost certainly lead to problems and arguments in the future.

Failing to Keep the Kid's Best Interests in Mind

During divorce proceedings, especially if a divorce is particularly bitter or acrimonious, parents can forget that the matter of child custody is about the best interest of the children. Don't make child custody an issue where you are trying to "beat" your spouse. No matter how hard it can be to learn that your state encourages equal parenting time, the goal for everyone involved is to make sure that the kids are happy and healthy. Using child custody issues in an attempt to try to hurt or get back at your spouse will only hurt your children.

Acting Out in Court

In most cases, a child custody agreement will need to be reviewed and approved by the courts before it can become official. Even if you are not completely satisfied with the child custody arrangement, it is never in your best interest to act-out in court or start a verbal altercation with your spouse in front of the judge. If you do this the court may view you in a negative light, and if you are severely disruptive or abusive it is possible to be charged with contempt of court.