Even in amicable child custody cases, emotions can be volatile, and parents can be driven by fear above all else. Because of this, many parents do or say something they later regret, particularly if their behavior jeopardizes their parenting time or parental rights.
With so much on the line, parents need to avoid the following mistakes when they are going through a child custody matter.
- Badmouthing the other parent: You might feel you have every right to say what you want about your ex online, to coworkers and anyone else who may be interested. However, just because you can does not mean you should. Badmouthing your ex can send the message that you are hostile and impulsive. It can also make you seem unwilling to facilitate a relationship between your ex and your child. These are all impressions that could reflect poorly on you as a parent.
- Being irresponsible with how you talk to your child: Parents are encouraged to talk to children about a divorce or custody. Doing so can help a child understand what is happening and feel supported. That said, it is crucial to keep conversations age-appropriate and respectful. If you blame everything on the other parent, lie, or overcharge, you could ultimately do more harm than good to your child’s well-being and your case.
- Putting your needs ahead of your child’s: Child custody cases are not easy or enjoyable for anyone. Remember this as you navigate the process. As upset as you may be, keep in mind your child’s experiences and emotions, and the fact that your child likely has no control over the outcome. Putting his or her needs ahead of yours during this difficult time can shield your child from unnecessary pain and trauma.
- Ignoring your needs: Prioritizing your child’s needs and refraining from blowing up about your ex can be exhausting and, at times, hurtful. Know that there are ways to help you get through this time with your well-being intact. Take time to take care of yourself. Seek out healthy hobbies, talk to a therapist, embrace opportunities to try new things.
Avoiding these missteps can make it easier to secure satisfactory resolutions to your child custody case and move forward.