Being a parent is normally one of the most rewarding experiences in your life, but it can also be extremely challenging. When parents decide to get a divorce, it often affects their relationship with their children, especially in a situation when there is a bitter and complex child custody battle in a family law court.
When you're going through a divorce process, the emotional stress often seems overwhelming and the legal aspects get mixed up with all the personal issues that caused the break up. Getting into arguments with your spouse over child custody and support typically make the situation even worse.
While it's understandable for a child custody battle to cause strong emotions and resentment, you have to remember that your actions inside and outside the family courtroom will affect your child and your long-term relationship with them.
If you can unable to control your anger and harsh feeling towards your spouse, then you could make poor decisions that will put you at an extreme disadvantage in the family law court. You need to understand that all family law courts will make judgments primarily based on what is in the best interest of your child.
Most parents don't have a full understanding of how California Family Laws work. Here are some important facts you need to know:
- California Family law courts favor joint legal and physical child custody
- Judgments are based on a legal standard called the “best interest of the child”
- Courts won't typically prohibit a parent from having some contact with their child
Couples who are getting a divorce and attempting to work out a parenting plan will often make mistakes that can hurt their child custody case.
Based on our years of experience, our Los Angeles divorce and family law attorneys have developed a list of things you should avoid in order to obtain a favorable outcome in your California child custody case.
Refusal to Cooperate with Spouse
You must remember that family law courts will typically recognize that having both parents present in the child's life is in the “best interest of the child.” This means you will most likely face a shared custody arrangement.
In many divorces, there are significant negative feelings about your spouse and it's common to make the mistake of seeking revenge above what is best for your child.
This is a huge mistake that often leads to refusing to reasonably cooperate or communicate that will leave the family court judge with the impression you don't place the well-being of your child as a top priority.
This could certainly hurt your California child custody case and you should make every effort to maintain some level of cooperation and communication with your ex-spouse.
Even in a situation where you could care less whether you ever see your ex-spouse again and can't stand being around them, this is really not an option when children are involved.
You need to find a way to put your differences aside and focus on your kids because they need your time and attention.
Refusal to Follow a Court Order
Another mistake you could make that will hurt your child custody case is a situation where you disobey a family law court order.
For example, if you violate a temporary child custody schedule from the court, the judge will typically reach a conclusion that you don't respect authority or California family laws that are designed to protect the best interest of children.
Clearly, in this type of situation, disobeying a court order will not be your advantage when the time arrives where the same judge will be making a decision on your child custody case.
This is not to suggest you should always agree to a child custody visitation schedule that is not right for you. Before you make an agreement, it would be wise to consult with a family law lawyer who could identify any problems in the agreement and deal with them before the judge so they don't become a problem later.
Refusal to Allow Other Parent Visitation
If you make an attempt to stop the other parent from seeing their children without a valid reason, then you placing yourself in a situation that could ultimately hurt your child custody case.
Obviously, there are a few situations where you are not in a position to wait for a court order, such as your child being placed in a dangerous environment or physical abuse. However, these type of situations are very limited and you need to consult with a lawyer before you violate a child visitation schedule.
If you simply refuse to allow the other parent visitation because you don't agree with the court order, then you are placing yourself in a bad situation when the time arrives for the judge to make a final decision on child custody.
Not Retaining a Family Law Attorney
California child custody cases are often a complex combination of paperwork, court motions, and child visitation schedules. If you fail to follow family court procedures, then you could potentially hurt your chances at a favorable outcome in your child custody case.
At this point, you are making life-altering decisions and your child's well-being is too important to risk making a mistake. You should do your homework and consult with an experienced family law lawyer who can make legal arguments on your behalf and keep track of all the legal procedures.
You need a lawyer who can use their experience to present your case before the judge in manner that will give you the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Other Mistakes to Avoid in Child Custody Cases
In all aspects of a divorce, there has to be room for compromise. The final outcome in a family law court in a California child custody case is no different. Here is some additional mistake to avoid:
- Failing to pay child support
- Making negative comments about spouse in front of your children
- Using social media to air grievances about your spouse
- Getting arrested
Contact a Los Angeles Child Custody Lawyer for Help
We know that getting a divorce is often one of the most difficult situations you can face, especially when children are involved.
Every divorce and child custody case is unique and will need to be closely examined in order to determine the best strategy for a favorable outcome. Our family law attorneys specialize in negotiation that will allow you to find common ground with your spouse while reaching your ultimate goals in your child custody case.
Our lawyers have extensive experience handling all types of family law issues that are related to the dissolution of a marriage.
This includes child custody, child support, parental visitation rights, spousal support (alimony), property division, divorce mediation, domestic violence, restraining orders, and father's rights.
Furman & Zavatsky are Los Angeles divorce and family law lawyers located in the San Fernando Valley area of LA County at 15821 Ventura Blvd #690 Encino, CA 91436. Contact our law firm for a free case consultation at (818) 528-3471.