Divorce can be difficult for many couples, but what makes it even harder is sharing children. Both parents want what’s best for their children, but they also want to spend as much time with their kids as possible. With split custody, this isn’t always possible. Deciding child custody can often be what lengthens the divorce process. In order to make this easier, we have assembled the top 5 child custody mistakes we’ve seen many parents make during and after the divorce process, so you can avoid making the same errors.
Mistake #1: Making It About You
You may be infuriated with your spouse, but your relationship with your wife or husband and your child’s relationship with your wife or husband are two incredibly different animals. While he or she may have failed as a spouse, your ex could still be an excellent parent. Divorce is not a battle to be won, and many parents make the mistake of using their children as ammunition. This can not only lead to your child’s resentment later, but it could also cost you in court. If the court sees you are more concerned with your own affairs than with your child’s wellbeing, a judge may decide to award your spouse physical custody.
Mistake #2: Showing Disrespect for the Court
If the court mandates a temporary child custody order, you should do your best to abide by it. By violating any temporary restraining order (TRO), you are showing you view the court with contempt. The court will take this violation into consideration when making a decision regarding your capability of being a responsible adult.
Mistake #3: Forgetting to Pay Child Support
If the court orders you to pay child support, you have to pay it each month and on time. While your spouse can’t prevent you from visiting your kids if you don’t pay, your children may need that money for school supplies, after-school activities, medical care, and so on. There is no excuse for not paying child support. However, if you have lost your job, you can make an appeal to the court to lower the payments or halt them temporarily until you find a new work situation.
Mistake #4: Taking the Kids on Vacation Without Consent
Every child custody order will include stipulations on what to do if you want to take the kids away on vacation. If you violate these orders, which typically include getting permission from the other parent, your ex can call the police and accuse you of kidnapping. The court might decide to limit your custody or remove it completely after this occurs.
Mistake #5: Blowing Off Visitation or Custody
If you’re supposed to pick your kids up at a particular time each week, don’t neglect this duty. Visitation and shared custody are set by the court with the child’s best interests in mind. Children do best when both parents participate in raising them. If you neglect your parenting duties, this could harm your children emotionally or psychologically in addition to damaging your relationship with them. Also, deciding to blow off a court-ordered time demonstrates you don’t care about your relationship with your kids. The court may choose to restrict your time as a result.
If you would like to discuss your divorce case with a skilled Illinois family law attorney, don’t hesitate to call us. Wakenight & Associates, P.C. has been helping people deal with family law matters for years. We understand this may be a difficult time for you and your family, so we will try and make your legal experience as stress-free as possible. Talk to us about your situation in a free case consultation.
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