If you’re in a battle for the custody of your child, it’s perfectly understandable if you’re feeling pretty emotional. Unfortunately, you can’t afford to let your emotions dictate your actions because that could be fatal to your case.
Here are several rules you need to follow that are designed to keep your emotions in check and your custody case on track:
1. Don’t focus on your relationship with your ex
No matter how clearly you see the connection between your ex’s failings as a spouse and your ex’s failings as a parent, keep it to yourself. Otherwise, you’ll sound bitter and vindictive — and you don’t want the judge to think that your custody battle is just an attempt to punish your ex’s bad behavior.
Focus only on your ex’s inability to be a good parent and leave your relationship out of it.
2. Don’t give your ex any warning about your strategy
In a moment of fury and frustration, it might feel immensely satisfying to tell your ex exactly how you plan to dismantle his or her bid for custody. Don’t do it. If you tip your hand about what you plan to show or say to the court, your ex will have time to strategize and come up with a response.
Keep all the details about your case private. Don’t even tell your friends, just in case someone likes to gossip.
3. Don’t listen to your ex’s boasts
Is your ex boasting that he or she will get full custody and take your child away from you? Turn a deaf ear. Those kinds of boasts are meant to intimidate you and create a sense of panic. Your ex is likely hoping that you’ll eventually get worried enough to offer a compromise that isn’t necessary — or in your child’s best interests.
Remember that your ex doesn’t have any special powers. What happens in the custody case is up to the judge — not your ex.
If you fear that a custody battle is looming in your future, an attorney can help you understand all your rights and options.