Custody battles are often mentally straining and stressful for the parents involved. The majority of parents do not enter into custody litigation proceedings unless they have come to the conclusion that having primary custody of their children is truly the best option.
An experienced Miami divorce attorney knows how to familiarize their clients with Florida family law and guide them through Florida custody litigation. The following are some dos and don’ts parents should follow to win a custody battle.
Do Act Properly in Court
In child custody battles, perception is always a determining factor. Both sides are able to present their opinions about their ex-spouses and their childrearing capabilities, but it is up to the judge to decide whether to believe or put value on those evaluations. For starters, judges will take into consideration the involvement of both parents in the custody hearings. Litigants should physically show up to court on time. They must look presentable by wearing attire appropriate for the courtroom. They must follow courtroom etiquette by being respectful to the judge and opposing party and not showing anger or using fowl language.
Do Ask Questions
Litigants invite additional unnecessary stress and anxiety by refusing to voice out their concerns. If parents do not understand something about the custody litigation process, they should not hesitate to ask for clarification from their attorneys and the court. They are entitled to voicing their concerns and getting clear answers.
Do Cooperate With Ex-Spouse
Divorcing parents going through custody litigation often have severely strained relationships, but to win a custody battle, parents must show the court a genuine willingness to work and get along with their exes for the benefit of children. Courts are more likely to rule in favor of cooperative parents over those who refuse to speak and collaborate with their exes.
Parents who are dishonest with the court by making unfounded allegations against their exes or exaggerating their exes’ shortcomings are doing themselves a disservice. It might seem like an effective way to improve their standing as parents in the eyes of the court. However, if those accusations or embellishments of the facts are discovered, their credibility will diminish and so will their chances of winning custody.
Don’t Coach Children
There is a point in the custody litigation process when the children of the litigants get interviewed by a custody expert and sometimes the court. In a custody evaluation, children are able to voice their opinions on the family dynamic and the reasons that led to their parents’ separation or divorce. Parents can inform their children about the interview and give them a general idea of what to expect to alleviate any confusion or fear. However, parents should not prepare their children for the interview, tell them what to say, or encourage them to talk negatively about their other parent. A custody expert will easily spot a child who has been coached, and it will reflect badly on the guilty parent.
Don’t Violate Orders
One of the easiest ways to get on the court’s bad side is by failing to follow a judge’s court orders. Parents must make strong efforts to comply with the judge’s requests, especially if those requests are binding and enforceable orders. Whether it concerns allowing communication and visitation between children and noncustodial parent or a myriad of other things. Litigants must always respect the court’s decisions or risk losing custody.
Florida custody litigation is a lengthy and complex process. If you are in need of legal assistance regarding divorce and child custody, talk with one of the Florida family law experts at Pimentel & Castillo. Call us to speak with a premiere Miami divorce attorney today.