Five Things You can do That Will Sabotage Your Child Custody Case

One of the most contentious and emotionally charged aspects of most divorce cases is the child custody determination proceedings. Most parents want full custody of their little ones, but because the courts feel that shared parenting is in most children’s best interests, they often try to split custody evenly between both parties, or a 50/50 schedule. However, if the judge determines that one parent is more fit than the other, or that it would be in the children’s best interest to stay at one parent’s house more often, he or she may grant that parent more custody.

If you are in the midst of a child custody battle, there are a few things you can do to help your case, and many things you can do to sabotage it. At Clark Law Group, our Dallas custody attorneys strive to help our clients do everything in their power to obtain the maximum amount of custody possible. This often involves guiding them on what not to do. This post details five of the biggest mistakes parties can make during divorce that may result in a reduction of custody rights.

Partaking in Alienation Practices

The goal of the shared parenting model is to ensure that children of divorce have healthy relationships with both their moms and their dads. This is not possible to achieve if one or both parents is actively working against the other via emotional manipulation.

Also known as parental alienation, emotional manipulation involves exactly what its name implies - the manipulation of a child’s emotions towards the other parent. A parent may do this by badmouthing the other parent in front of the child, badmouthing the other parent to the child, telling the child things that would scare them into going to the other parent’s, or telling the child that his or her other parent does not love him or her. The Court’s in Dallas and surrounding counties take these allegations very seriously. If found guilty of parental alienation, a parent could lose most or all of his or her custodial rights.

Getting Arrested

On top of the fact that you cannot take care of your child from jail, the courts frown upon parents with criminal records because, generally speaking, those with criminal tendencies are not always good role models. If you are arrested and convicted of a crime, you risk losing all of your custodial rights for the time being. Once released from jail, you may have a difficult time reestablishing your parental rights.

Taking the Kids Out of Area

Even if you and your child’s other parent split custody 50/50, you cannot just take your little one out of the country, state, or even metropolitan area without first consulting with the other parent. Doing so may be considered kidnapping, or a form of parental alienation, especially if you remove the child from the area on a day that is not your own. The reason the Court’s do not like this is because it creates distance between the parent and the child. It also makes it more difficult for the parent and the child to conduct visitation and can cause a strain on the parent-child relationship and cause the child to resist his/her visitations.

There are also specific provisions for vacations. However, there is a difference in going on vacation with your kid, because this gives the other parent advanced warning. The child also returns after the vacation. Your custody agreement should stipulate how much advanced notice vacations.

If you are thinking about moving or the other parent is considering the same, then please give us a call for some advice as to whether this should happen!

Removing the Child From School without a Valid Reason

If you are not the primary caregiver, you generally do not have the right to remove your child from school or daycare without the other parent’s permission. Along the same lines a parent should not allow their child to miss an excessive amount of school, resulting in truancy. Most would argue that a child should be in school learning like most children. The state even has minimum requirements for home-schooling, should you choose to make that effort. We have successfully handled many cases where children have been removed for home-schooling purposes and where children have been in trouble for missing school. Call us today if you have questions.

Failing to Have a Reasonable Way to Care for the Child

Many parents have work-related issues that could work against them in a Dallas Family Law Court. This may play a significant role in causing a Court to rule against them in a child custody case. For example, if a parent is homeless, does something illegal at work, moves continuously from city to city because of unstableness, or works at night and has a young child… These are all issues a Court can consider. A Court may also decide that if you are not capable of upholding basic financial obligations then you may not have the ability to fully care for a child.

Work With a Knowledgeable Child Custody Lawyer

It can be really easy to slip up during your child custody case. Unfortunately, even minor slip ups may result in reduced custodial rights or termination of parental rights altogether. An experienced Dallas child custody attorney can guide you through the divorce process and keep you from making case-breaking mistakes. If you want to ensure a positive outcome to your child custody case, call Clark Law Group today.

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