When estranged parents are heading to a California courtroom to determine who will have primary custody of the children, the process can be complex and emotional. However, there are certain mistakes that parents can make. In some cases, these mistakes could have an impact on the outcome of the custody dispute.
One mistake parents can make is to tell their ex exactly what their plan is. They should also avoid talking in detail to friends and family, especially if they are friends with the ex. This can weaken the parent's case and may give the ex ammo to use when working on their own game plan. Some parents unfortunately also allow their emotions to drive their decisions during the divorce. This can be dangerous as it can result in the court limiting their parenting time or even costing them primary custody of the children.
In general, getting the kids involved in the custody dispute can be a major mistake. The children do not need to know how angry their parents are with each other. Parents should also generally avoid speaking for their children. Trying to speak for the children can actually make the parent look bad, especially if the children have demonstrated a willingness to speak for themselves.
Although most courts prefer joint physical custody so that both parents have the opportunity to maintain strong relationships with the children, there are certain circumstances were it is in the best interests of the children for one parent to have primary custody. For example, there may be evidence that the other parent has a history of domestic abuse or cannot properly care for the children. A parent who is going through a complex custody dispute should contact a family law attorney to determine what the options are.