Fighting for custody is a heartrending, exhausting, and sorrowful experience. No matter what the results, it is hard on everyone. In fact, people become so completely emotional and exhausted that they are not on their best behavior. If there is a time to be on your best behavior, it is while you are asking for custody.
Here are some of the top mistakes that people make when involved in a custody fight:
- Speaking poorly of the other parent in front of or to the children. Remember when your mother used to tell you, “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all”? Well, now is the time to put that into practice. Note: there is a difference between giving your children information to keep them safe (“call me right away if mommy says she is going to leave you alone at night) and saying things that you shouldn’t (“You know that your mommy’s friends are more important to her than anything in the world, she doesn’t deserve you.”)
- Not watching their own behavior. Watch what you say and do, and who you hang out with. Yes, this includes your online life.
- Not telling their lawyer everything. Even if it is embarrassing, even if you wish it hadn’t happened, even if you can’t understand why she keeps asking you about that….
- Being angry, bitter, or hateful. Even if you have every reason in the world to be angry… don’t let it poison your life, your children’s life, or the judge’s perception of you.
- Putting the kids in the middle. Don’t ask your kids to take sides. Don’t discuss things that you shouldn’t discuss with your kids. Don’t. Just Don’t.