When parents get involved in a heated custody battle, the parent who loses primary custody may feel that the system is unfair. Maybe the parent feels the judge was biased, or that their lawyer did not fight hard enough for them. Even if they are still a capable and loving parent, instances where parents lose primary custody happen because it is in the best interest of the child. Of course, decisions are easily made when there is evidence of physical or sexual abuse, but most of the time, losing custody is nuanced and fact-sensitive. Here are some easy ways for parents to unintentionally harm their custody case.
Parents who share inappropriate or case-sensitive information with their children can impair their case. Although it may not be done maliciously, serious harm can occur when parents speak badly about the other parent or their family to their kids. Blaming the other parent for your relationship with your child to your child can be damaging. Some judges may call it emotional abuse and see it as an attempt to alienate your child from the other parent. If you are unsure how to speak to your child about the ongoing court case in a responsible way, seek out help from professionals like counselors who understand how to relate to children regarding custody battles.
While a parent is not expected to remain single forever, they should be aware of some potential obstacles dating during a custody case. One of the most common mistakes parents make is treat their new boyfriend or girlfriend like a replacement parent. Encouraging your new significant other to step into the role of the child’s parent is inappropriate and can be viewed by the court as failure to foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent.
Ultimately, both parents are encouraged to be involved in the shared child’s life. In an effort to create a more tranquil environment conducive to teamwork, each parent should learn to set aside their personal feelings about the other parent and put the best interests of their child first. Parents can often disagree about how to discipline children, and rules may vary from home to home. Having frank and honest discussions regularly with the other parent is the best way to ensure healthy co-parenting. With both parties actively raising the children and making important decisions together, respectful interaction is paramount to creating a united front. Agreeing on which activities the children participate in and sharing schedules are crucial aspects of co-parenting. Refusing to communicate or consistently fighting with the other parent are major defining factors in child custody cases. Technology such as shared calendars can be an easy way for parents to stay in touch and updated on what is happening with their children. Shared calendars also limit direct communication, which can often result in an argument.
Most parents love their children unconditionally, something usually not contested in custody cases. However, one parent is typically the primary caregiver. Many times, both parents will still be equally involved and take their children to extracurricular activities, doctor’s appointments, and speak with teachers. Custody comes into question when parents do not know pertinent information about their children’s lives, such as allergies, health specifics, and educational abilities. Negligence can affect a parent’s allotted custody.
Failing to return the child on time after parenting time, or not paying child support are all examples of being contempt of court. Another aspect is if a parent has struggled with alcohol abuse in the past, and is ordered by the court to not drink during parenting time. A great way to demonstrate to the court that you are taking these orders seriously is to consider an alcohol monitoring program. Alcohol monitoring is an excellent tool for those in recovery who are also participating in a custody case. Soberlink uses the latest technology, pairing a remote breathalyzer with facial recognition technology, tamper detection, and Real-Time Reporting for documenting sobriety. With Soberlink, a parent who is struggling with alcohol use can document their sobriety for child custody.
Soberlink alcohol monitoring can be useful if a parent suspects that the other party is abusing alcohol during parenting time. Further, alcohol monitoring technology can help ensure both parties are abiding by the court’s orders, as well as building trust between the parents and the court. An alcohol monitoring system can provide an opportunity for an individual in recovery to prove themselves and make tangible strides in keeping custody of their children.
It can be easy for parents to get caught up in the emotional turmoil of a custody battle and forget that their conduct will be reviewed carefully. By taking the case seriously, behaving appropriately, and following the orders of the court, parents should feel confident that their case will be examined fairly by the judge.