Child Custody Do's & Don'ts for Divorcing Parents


During contentious custody battles, what you do and don’t do makes the biggest difference. The court will be evaluating you and your spouse on parenting styles to determine who is a better fit to care for the children. In most cases, parents usually share custody. However, during the divorce process, it is important to take care with how you act, as it could affect how the agreements go. At Family Law Advocacy Group, we want you to be well prepared for child custody matters.

What to Do During a Child Custody Case

  • Be realistic about the custody agreement – It can be difficult to remain objective and practical when it comes to your children. However, take a step back from the situation and look at your lifestyle and those of your ex. Determine who is more able to handle the children. For example, it makes sense for the parent who works less to have the children during the weekdays.
  • Keep your children’s interests first – Regardless of how you and your ex feel about each other, you want to make sure you prioritize your children’s needs. If you genuinely feel the other parent is abusive or unfit as a parent, voice your concerns. Do not use custody rights as a way to hurt the other party. Your kids are who matter in this situation.
  • Be prompt to all appointments – Respect the other party’s time and be on time for all meetings and custody hearings. This is another way a judge can look to see how well you can handle responsibilities. Every little moment counts.
  • Explain what is going on to your kids – This can be a confusing time for everyone involved, but especially the kids. Explain the divorce process and the custody agreement to them along the way, so that they understand. Giving them this information helps stabilize a rather disorienting situation.
  • If it is possible, present a united front with your ex – Whatever your problems with your ex may be, you should both show your children that you are first and foremost their parents. Not only will this assist the kids with grappling with the process, it shows the court you are mature and can work together.

What Not to Do During a Child Custody Case

  • Bad mouth the other parent – Regardless of how you may feel towards your ex, do not disparage their character in front of others. Not only does this make you look bad, it can have others question your intentions and ability to put your kids first.
  • Separate the kids – Some parents believe that it would be fairer to split the kids, so that they both get time with the children. This is a bad idea as it can create disharmony and anxiety among the children.
  • Make your children choose – It might seem like an easy solution to just have your kids choose with which parent they want to live. However, this is unfair to all parties involved. It puts the pressure on the child to choose which parent they like more, which can create feelings of favoritism. Be the adult and choose the best option for your kids.
  • Be late to appointments – You want to respect other people’s time, so be on time to all court hearings and appointments. You want to show them you are responsible.
  • Manipulate the children – Some parents tell the children to tell lies or instruct them on how to act. This is ethically wrong and can backfire in the end. Allow the kids to be natural. The court will not look kindly upon parents coaching children on what to say or do.

At Family Law Advocacy Group, we know how stressful obtaining a divorce can be when children are involved. We want to minimize the conflict so that your children are protected. For child custody help, contact our Rancho Cucamonga attorneys today.

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