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3 mistakes to avoid during child custody disputes

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Child Custody

Ideally, separated or divorced parents can work together for the best interest of their children and come to some form of agreement about parenting and custody – but that’s not always possible.

When you’re in a high-conflict situation with your ex over the kids and a custody battle is in full swing, you need all of your actions to be above reproach. The following are some of the biggest mistakes you’ll need to avoid as you move forward.

Inappropriate social media activity

Do not go on social media and rant about your co-parent, the guardian ad litem assigned to your case, the system or the judge. Everything you write will find its way into the courtroom and can be used to portray you as unreasonable or unstable.

Threatening your co-parent

No matter how frustrated or angry you are at your spouse’s actions, keep all of your communications “business-level” formal, whether that’s over email, in text or in person. Remember, Texas is a one-party consent state, so your ex can legally record you without your permission if you start making threats or using abusive language – and all of that will find its way into court.

Disregarding court orders

No matter how unfair you think the current custody order is, you still need to follow it – or you risk being charged with custodial interference. Unless your child is in actual danger, do not refuse to make a custody exchange with the other parent, restrict their parenting time due to nonpayment of support or interfere with their virtual visitation. If your ex isn’t following the court’s orders, document it – but don’t follow their lead.

Finally, there’s one more thing you shouldn’t do in a court battle: Represent yourself in court. It’s impossible to be totally objective about your situation when your children are involved, and it takes experience to present your position effectively before a judge.