Over the years we’ve seen many people make mistakes when it comes to their custody case. Despite advice to the contrary, many people are their own worst enemy. Thus, here is some advice on things to avoid in a custody case. If your goal is to lose custody then, by all means, go forward with any or all of these strategies.
1. Gloating: Any time you “win” a custody decision, whether it big or small, your human tendency is to say “see I told you so”. Avoid this feeling! We had a highly contentious, complex custody case where we won custody for the father only to have the father send some inappropriate emails containing his feelings of “success” at his new won victory. The other side successfully used the emails to say he wasn’t willing to co-parent, which was the further from the truth. However, the court took the emails as a sign of gloating and rescinded the granting of custody. Thereafter he continues his fight for custody.
2. Domestic violence: In today’s world domestic violence is defined by a whole myriad of actions. Actions such as harassment, causing emotional distress, harsh words, driving by someone’s house all are grounds for a domestic violence restraining order. The connotations of a “domestic violence restraining order” arising from such activity isn’t really fair. However, under the law such actions can be domestic violence. As such, do whatever you can to avoid a domestic violence finding. If a domestic violence finding is entered against you then it will be used against you in a custody claim and will dramatically impact on your ability to win custody.
3. Nonpayment of support: Even though nonpayment of support is supposed to be a separate issue than custody, realize that judges are human. Therefore, you are severely hurting your claim if you are making no effort to stay on top of your support obligation. Not only will you have to face contempt charges for nonpayment, but you will also create in the judge’s mind a perception that you are the “bad guy”. Even if you cannot afford your support obligation at least make some attempts until you can get things modified.
These mistakes, along with others, often sink a case before it really has time to get off shore. Don’t become another statistic. Instead, plan your case carefully with experts who know how to handle complex custody situations. Contact the Justice Legal Group with your custody questions. Call us at 505-880-8737 or email us at info@JusticeLegalGroup.com.