Throughout a California child custody case you need to make mindful, strategic decisions that advance that outcome you want. However, the structure and stressful nature of these family law cases don’t always make it easy to see and navigate the right path through a custody case. These are five of the mistakes parents often make.
#1: Making the Case About Your Ex, Instead of Your Child
At all times, a California child custody case is about your minor child or children. When determining custody, deciding visitation, and allocating holidays or exceptions, the family court is going to consider what is in the best interest of the child and make a ruling according to this standard.
Of course, what’s in the best interest of your child might involve discussions and conversations about your ex-spouse or partner, but centering the case on past marital problems, indiscretions, and disputes between the adults is never a winning argument. Rather, you and your California family lawyer want to keep the focus on your kids. Stay focused on the reasons you deserve full or partial custody, show lifestyle choices and parenting skills that make you a strong choice for custody.
#2: Taking to Social Media to Air Grievances
Your California family lawyer could make a strong argument for staying off social media entirely during a divorce, separation, or California child custody case. However, if you aren’t willing to sign off and shut down your accounts entirely, you need to refrain from sharing information about your California child custody case or bashing your ex.
Use of social media to share personal stories or smear your former spouse’s reputation frequently backfire. There are typically two responses. The people in both your lives are forced to take sides and your ex-spouse or partner becomes upset, angry, and more committed to refusing you custody or visitation. Neither of these responses is helpful for your California child custody case or future family structure.
#3: Refusing to Compromise or Cooperate
In all aspects of a divorce or separation, there must be room for compromise. It is an inherent part of reaching a settlement and receiving a divorce decree from the family court. The final outcome a California child custody case is no different. You will need to find some common ground with your ex to reach a conclusion.
The real question in most California child custody cases isn’t whether to compromise it is where and when. These determinations are best made in consultation with a California divorce lawyer, who understands the process and scope of a California child custody case and has seen a large number of these cases unfold. As well, working closely with your family lawyer will help set your priorities, to know where compromise isn’t an option.
#4: Trying to Out Talk Your Child in a California Child Custody Case
The loudest voice in any California child custody case should be your child’s. This can be a tough realization or determination to accept, as we often think that parents are the best advocates for their kids. However, in these cases the preferences and happiness of your child are paramount, and that could very well mean spending time with both parents. When possible, a family court in California will consider the perspective and opinion of your child, and you should as well.
#5: Remaining Passive During the Process
While many of our tips thus far have advocated for a level-head and calm demeanor, this doesn’t mean a California family lawyer believes his or her clients should remain silent and passive in the background of a California child custody case. Rather, any good family lawyer will help you tell your story in a strategic, vibrant, and convincing way.
Bonus: Not Hiring a Lawyer for Your California Child Custody Case
California child custody cases are difficult and distressing. When child custody is in dispute, it tends to ignite strong emotions. Often, your immediate reactions, impulsive decisions, and emotional judgment calls are perfectly justified in the moment, but they can hurt the outcome. This is where a California family lawyer can add true value.
In the moments that you want to react with raw emotion, a divorce and family lawyer can help channel these emotions to a productive strategy. With your best interest in mind, a lawyer can present your side of the story, give structure to your case, and make a persuasive argument before the family court. Ultimately, this is a far better approach than going into a courtroom on adrenaline and impulsive, and when you have the right lawyer, it doesn’t mean presenting your case passively.
Do you need a lawyer for your California child custody case? Contact our team at the Bledsoe Firm by calling (949) 363-5551.