As we go through a child custody battle, many people act irrationally in the fight vying for time with the kids. Here at Rachel Hewett Firm, we have over twenty years’ experience in family law. It all starts with free consultation child custody lawyers’ right here in our Texas office. These four strategies will help you get the best outcome for your case and avoid some of the biggest mistakes we see in cases.
Don’t Badmouth Your Ex in Front of the Kids
This may seem like obvious advice, but many parents fail to realize the impact of their words on their children? It’s tempting to vent or want to explain the emotional struggles to your child, but don’t do it. Children will often mimic your words and report them to your ex. Worse, the statements could make their way to a family evaluator or the judge, jeopardizing your chances for custody.
Instead, act as if a judge is by your side every time you interact with your ex in front of the kids. Also, be aware of your conversations with friends around your children and be sure to avoid negative comments about their other parent. Interactions like these send the message you aren’t able to handle the situation and are putting negative stress on your child.
Treat Conversations as Evidence
Expect your ex may be recording you on their phone during any interaction you have. Additionally, any emails, texts, or phone calls between you could be submitted as evidence to the court. When you need to talk with your ex, interact as if is you would be comfortable hearing this conversation as evidence in the courtroom. Be as neutral as possible and keep conversations short about parenting time and the children’s needs.
Be Honest with the Kids about Splitting Up
It’s important you talk directly to your children about getting a divorce. Let the kids know that even though things didn’t work out with their other parent, both of you love them and will continue to care for them. Avoid explaining any negative reasons why things didn’t work out, just be ready to listen and assure.
Talk to them about where you will live and when you will see each other. Assure them they can call you any time. Accept and expect kids to react with sadness or anger, and comfort them without trying to say words to fix the situation. Kids need time to process this type of change. Being honest will help your children start accepting the change and help kids be ready for conversations with the judge or family mediator.
Let Your Lawyer Wear the Boxing Gloves (If Necessary!)
As your cases progresses, it’s easy to get frustrated with the process, especially if your ex is putting up roadblocks by being stubborn or dragging in emotional arguments. All along the way, consult with your lawyer and tell them what is most important to you. Ask for updates and set expectations together, but don’t jump into argument with your ex during court proceedings.
If things are taking too long to settle, let your lawyer take the wolfish stance with your ex’s attorney rather than trying to negotiate with an unreasonable ex. Argumentative conversations with your ex will waste time getting to the judge’s decision and won’t help your case. A smart lawyer’s approach to child custody based on facts can help sway the judge and move things forward.
We hope these tips help you! Here at Rachel Hewett Firm, we offer free consultation with child custody lawyers, call us to set up your first visit at 972-426-2637.