Divorce or separation can be a stressful and emotionally-consuming process. Things do not get any better when you have children and you and your spouse cannot agree on a custody arrangement. You may be concerned about having a limited role in your child's welfare or, conversely, about your child spending too much time with the other parent if they are abusive or questionable influence to your little one.
The laws governing child custody cases in California are quite complex, and one misstep could be all it takes to jeopardize your case. Here are two common pitfalls that you need to avoid before, during and after your child custody hearing in the Golden State.
Putting your interests ahead of your child
Child custody, as the name indicates, is about the child, and NOT the parents. Remember, you are the one whose relationship is in trouble and the children are completely innocent. While you may want to crawl up in a ball and forget about your troubles, you need to understand that this is a critical time in your children's lives. As such, it is important that you focus on their needs. One of the most important things you need to do before, during and after the divorce process is come up with a co-parenting plan that will work in the best interest of your children.
Ignoring court orders
During and after the court process, the court will issue a custody decree. It is important that both parties obey the stipulations of the decree. If the court directs joint custody, it is important that both parents work on a parenting plan that reflects this directive. If the court grants visitation rights to one parent, both parties must respect this. Ignoring a court order amounts to contempt, and this can attract serious penalties including loss of custody.
A child custody battle can be quite difficult, costly and time-consuming. The last thing you want is to sabotage your case by making unnecessary mistakes.