If you and your soon-to-be-ex are involved in a custody dispute, then you don’t need us to tell you that this is a stressful time. You already know that. There’ve already been lots of heated words exchanged, and lots of dark thoughts had about one another, and it’s not over yet. But if you’re going to make it out of this with any hope of getting what you want (or even just a workable compromise), there are some things you’re going to need to avoid doing.
Over the decades of representing parents in divorce and custody cases here in Mid-Michgan, we’ve seen many parents in Lansing, Clinton County and Eaton County complicate their own custody proceedings doing these exact things.
Don’t ever do this if you’re involved in a custody dispute:
- Don’t lose your temper or let your frustrations get the better of you!
We understand – you’re angry and you have a right to be. But there’s a big difference between processing your emotions in a safe space, and losing control of yourself in front of the other parent. If you’re angry (and that’s perfectly normal!) make a point of venting your rage to your best friend or to your therapist. Somewhere that you know your words are confidential, and your privacy will be respected.
But if you lose control of yourself during an argument with your ex, they’re very likely to use that against you. Perhaps an accusation of violence, or a claim of fear for the children’s wellbeing. Either way, it won’t look good. So keep yourself in check.
- Stay off social media, at least when it comes to your ex!
Your ex may be a jerk. They may be mean and petty, or worse – neglectful or abusive. But you need to keep your lips zipped online about your opinions. At least where your ex and their treatment of your children is concerned. You may have meant a Facebook comment about your ex as sarcasm, or that snarky response posted on twitter as nothing more than a chance to vent frustrations, but they can end up looking far worse. Slander, threats, and even verbal and emotional abuse.
Or that’s what your ex will claim, anyway. And you better believe that’s going to end up in front of the judge, where you’ll end up looking bad. (And remember that social media posts frequently end up being used in court even when they don’t pertain to the other parent. Partying, drinking, swearing, being judgmental and so on.) So keep your social media content to funny videos about cats and cucumbers, and wholesome pics of your kids. Seriously.
- Trash talking their other parent in front of your kids!
Right now you can’t stand them. It’s understandable – you are in the middle of a divorce or maybe a custody dispute, after all. So thinking your soon-to-be-ex is the worst person in the word isn’t all that unusual. But that’s an opinion you need to keep to yourself, at least where your kids are concerned. You may hate the other parent, but if you tell your children what a rotten rat-fink their other parent is, there’s a good chance it’ll get back to them.
By the way, you decided to make a baby with them at one point. And later you could be accused of trying to poison your kids against them. (Ingham County, Clinton County and Eaton County Judges don’t take kindly to parental alienation attempts!) Also, keep in mind that your children are already struggling with your divorce. They don’t need the added stress of carrying their parent’s angry messages and name calling back and forth.
Make sure you’ve got the best attorneys on your divorce team!
Getting divorced is a long, hard, painful process. There are loads of things to do, tons of paperwork to wade through, and a million decisions that need to be made. So anything you can do to make the process easier on yourself would be a good thing, right? And that’s where we come in.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, our experienced team of family law attorneys have been helping people from all over mid-Michigan for over a quarter century with every aspect of their divorces. From child custody and support, to asset division and alimony, we can do it all. So if you’re considering a divorce, or you’re in the middle of one and your attorney isn’t working well with you, call us at 517 886 1000 today. And don’t forget to join us next time for the rest of this very important list!