If you're in the process of going through a divorce, things can quickly become much more complicated when there are shared children between you and your soon-to-be ex. This is especially true if you're unable to reach an amicable custody agreement outside the court room. In this situation, the actions you take leading up to your court date can make all the difference in the outcome of your custody dispute, so there are some important tips to keep in mind.
DO Submit to a Custody Evaluation
If you have any reason to believe that the other parent will try to claim that your living environment is "unfit" or otherwise inadequate for raising a child, then you may want to volunteer for an in-home custody evaluation through the court system right away. These in-home evaluations can prove that you have a stable and safe living environment, and can help to protect you against claims that your soon-to-be ex may make against you in an attempt to prevent you from getting custody.
DON'T Post Anything to Social Media
One of the biggest mistakes people make in custody disputes these days is that of airing their "dirty laundry" on social media. As tempting as it may be to post a rant about your spouse and your feelings about the custody dispute online, it's important to understand that this information can be used against you if it makes its way into the wrong hands. Even if you have strict privacy settings on your social media accounts, it's better to avoid posting anything related to your divorce.
DO Schedule a Legal Consultation
Hopefully, you already have a divorce lawyer from a place like Harford Family Law retained. If not, however, you'll want to get this taken care of sooner rather than later. A divorce lawyer can prove extremely valuable and helpful during your divorce and especially during a child custody battle. Even if you don't think you can afford to hire a lawyer, you should at least schedule a free consultation with one to receive free advice on your custody dispute.
DON'T Show Up Late for Pick-Ups or Visits
Finally, as you're going through your custody dispute, be as diligent as possible about picking up your child on time for visits and from school or other activities. Assume that your spouse will document and report any incident where you are late, because he or she probably will--and it could be used against you.