If you are going through a divorce in Michigan and there are children of the marriage, your behavior during the proceedings can have a pronounced impact on the court’s child custody decisions. Making a strong case for joint custody means showing affirmatively that such an arrangement will be in the child’s best interest. But you can greatly improve your chances of success by refraining from negative actions.
Here are some common mistakes you should take pains to avoid in your child custody case:
- Letting your emotions get the best of you — Divorce can be a difficult and stressful time, but don’t allow it to lead to emotional outbursts, either in person or in other communications. Courts want to know that a custodial parent will be a mature and stable influence on the child. Shouting, sending angry texts or emails or leaving high-tempered voicemails might suggest that you lack the ability to handle stressful situations, which could create a negative environment for child-rearing. Keep things civil, think before reacting and seek out ways to manage your emotions, like therapy and exercise.
- Not spending enough time with your child — Courts deciding on custody are focused on what is in the child’s best interest. If one parent in a relationship is doing most, if not all, of the primary caretaking, this can weigh heavily in their favor. Try to spend as much significant quality time with your children as possible and be prepared to show how you will be able maintain a similar schedule after the divorce. Not only is this good for your custody case, but it also provides needed love and stability for your child during a difficult time.
- Refusing to cooperate — In general, courts find that children benefit from having a continued close relationship with both of their parents after a divorce. It is important to do your best to cooperate during the divorce process so that it appears to the court that a joint custody arrangement will be feasible. Even if believe your spouse is overreaching in his or her demands, you should show the court that you are being rational and amenable.
To set yourself up for success during you custody case, especially if your spouse is making the proceedings difficult, you should reach out to an experienced child custody attorney. The advice of a skilled counselor can help you take positive steps with a view toward an outcome that will be best for you and your child.
At Dawson Family Law PLLC in Sterling Heights, Michigan, we have deep experience in successful handling of child custody cases. To set up a free initial consultation, please call 833-671-4445 or contact us online.