What to Do, and What Not to Do
First, it is important that you resist the temptation to take any frustrations out on your child. Part of this means that it is crucial that you are not alienating the other party from your child by using your influence as a parent to control your child. Children are fragile and are even more vulnerable during a divorce than they are at any other time. Thus, it is important that you are neutral or positive about the other party to ensure that your child is not negatively impacted by this behavior. If you know or suspect that your spouse is attempting to influence your child in this manner, it is important to talk to your attorney to minimize any negative influence on your child’s emotional state.
Second, you should try to control your behavior and your actions during the entire process, from the initial filing to the final judgment. It is a good idea to go ahead and assume that anything you say or do will be recorded as evidence, especially in this technologically savvy world. This is especially true for written words, such as in emails, text messages, and on social media. Be aware that anything you post on the internet can potentially be recorded, whether you take it down or not. Part of this is controlling what you say about the case to your children and to others.
Third, control your display of emotions. While this is certainly much easier said than done, it is a very important part of family law cases. All court cases can bring out emotion in people, but few have as much emotion involved as family law cases, especially those involving children.
Fourth, communicate with your spouse (or ex-spouse, depending on where you are in the case). Do not assume that taking your child to their grandmother’s house out of state for the weekend will automatically be ok with your child’s other parent. It is best to talk to the other party and come to an agreement, through your attorney if necessary, before making any sort of drastic moves. Otherwise, actions like this could impact your chance of getting what you think is best for your children.
Reach Out to an Experienced Family Law Attorney
Fifth, and finally, hire an attorney. An experienced family law attorney can be truly crucial is getting the best outcome for everyone. While you may see hiring an attorney as a financial struggle at first, be confident that having an advocate to give you advice who works on these cases regularly could be the difference between a good outcome and a devastating one.
If you or someone you know is going through a divorce with or without child custody involved, do not hesitate to contact me to see how I might be able to help you.