When making child custody decisions, courts base their decisions on the well-being of the child. This means that the child gets to stay in the household where he or she is likely to receive the basic needs as well as security and emotional support. Your behavior, words, finances – indeed nearly everything about you – will be discussed in court. This is why it's easy to make a mistake that may end up costing you custody of your child. Some of the common mistakes that you are likely to make include:
Yelling At Your Partner or Kids
Whether you are acting in anger, or you think the tongue lashing is justified, you should never raise your voice at your loved ones. This advice holds whether it's a phone call, or you are talking face to face. If your partner claims that you are abusing them, then it will be very difficult to defend yourself if he or she reveals recorded audio of your yelling.
The risk is even greater if you are a man, and your partner is a woman. The way the society functions, plus entrenched beliefs and gender expectations, means that men are considered domineering creatures. It may or may not be right, but that is how the world functions. It doesn't require a leap of faith for the court to believe that a man who can yell at his family can also abuse them, especially if your partner is making such claims.
Damaging Your Partners Property
Getting physically violent with your partner is one of the easiest ways of losing custody of your children. In fact, family courts are always on the lookout for early signs of aggression in partners who are divorcing or disputing child custody. One of these signs is property damage.
Even if you get very angry, don't break the window, kick in the door or smash your partner's car windshield. The assumption is that it is just a matter of time before you move from kicking doors to kicking your partner.
Taking Children from School or Daycare without Notice
If your child is in school or daycare, let him or her be there for the designated period. You should only remove the child from school if there is an emergency, say he or she is sick, but even then you ought to inform the other parent. The school keeps attendance records, and your partner can use them in court against you. For example, he or she can allege that you don't care for the child's education or that you wanted to kidnap them.
It's advantageous to be a good parent and spouse at all times, but the custody battle will call upon you to perfect your parenting skills. This is difficult if you don't realize that some of your behaviors could be sabotaging your chances of success. Consulting an experienced family lawyer may go a long way in helping you learn more about what you are not supposed to do and how you should behave.