It goes without saying that child custody cases often involve strong convictions and emotions. Parents may be concerned about now playing a limited role in their child's life or, about their child being more influenced by the other parent if they're granted sole custody. These are all valid concerns and can put a serious damper on child custody proceedings.
The laws that govern child custody cases in Pennsylvania are intricate. One mistake on your behalf is all it takes to make you look irresponsible and swing the pendulum in the other parent's favor. To ensure you're prepared in your child custody proceedings, we'll discuss a few common mistakes you should avoid.
Refusing to cooperate or compromise with the other parent.
If you sit in on any child custody case in Pennsylvania, you'll likely encounter mudslinging on both sides. The nature of these cases tends to bring out the worst in people. But it's important to remember that even though you have negative feelings towards your former spouse or significant other, you can't let your anger outweigh what's in the best interest of your children.
If you refuse to communicate, move out of the house and leave your children with your spouse, prevent your children from contacting their parent, etc., the judge could conclude based on these actions that you care more about hurting the other parent than your child's well-being. Regardless of how you feel, your child needs both parents. Keeping an open line of communication is proof that you're mature enough to prioritize your child's needs.
Not remaining involved in your child's life.
If you're also going through a divorce, you probably feel overwhelmed. It's easy for parents who are going through a lot in their personal life to neglect their child's needs. Staying in bed for days on end to process what went wrong in your marriage isn't an option when you have parental responsibilities. Not to mention that your spouse can use this moment of weakness against you. If you need professional help, talking to a therapist is beneficial, but make sure you're taking good care of your children in the meantime.
Airing your business out on social media.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are outlets where many people feel safe enough to vent their frustrations and seek support from close friends and families. But if the court gets a hold of this information, it could compromise your case. Pictures that could lead the judge to believe that your conduct can negatively influence your child - like pictures of you inebriated, using substances, or content containing disrespectful statements about the other parent - can be very damaging to your case.
Not hiring an attorney to represent you.
Child custody cases are complex and unpredictable. The small details matter and anything you miss could adversely influence the outcome. Your relationship with your child is too important for you not to seek a legal professional who can maximize your chances of getting a custody arrangement that reflects your child's best interest.
Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
As you can see, making one seemingly small mistake in a child custody hearing can have a detrimental impact on your case. This is why it's important you retain a qualified family law attorney who has extensive knowledge of the state's process and has helped families get an arrangement that reflects the best interest of their child. To ensure your parental rights are protected, and your contributions are considered, contact the Lento Law Firm today online or by phone at 888-535-3686.