Divorce is rarely easy for anyone, particularly parents. Not only do you have to worry about your own emotional well-being, but you also have to worry about your child’s as well. Parenting through a divorce can be hard because each couple has different degrees of civility and animosity. However, people will be scrutinizing your parenting methods more than ever during this time because child custody needs to be decided. Avoid these significant mistakes parents have made in the past that could prevent you from getting full custody of your kids.
Mistake #1: Using Your Kid as a Pawn
Nothing reveals a parent’s priorities more than using his or her kid as a pawn. Whether the parent is emotionally manipulating the child to hate the other parent or using the child as a means of communication, a judge or social worker will look at this situation and see an unfit parent. Child custody is based on the child’s best interests, and if the other parent isn’t emotionally manipulating his or her kid, custody is more likely to be awarded to that parent.
Mistake #2: Bad Mouthing the Other Parent
You may hate your ex right now, but keep your anger to yourself (or at least, out of the hearing of your kids). Children can sometimes act like recording devices; when they hear something interesting, they might repeat it back elsewhere. If your child tells the other parent something horrible said by you in a fit of anger, the other parent could tell his or her attorney to use that phrase in court. Don’t give your ex more fuel than he or she might already have. Talk about them politely, or don’t speak about them at all.
Mistake #3: Having an Unpredictable Custody Arrangement
Many states require parents to make a parenting plan deciding custody and visitation schedules. However, you can make this plan as detailed as you like. Going from one house to another can be chaotic and confusing for kids, so the more predictable you can make your arrangement, the better. Avoid having a chaotic custody schedule if at all possible.
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