Child custody issues can be some of the most high stakes and contentious issues in a divorce case. This is especially true in acrimonious divorces where child custody can end up being a long-standing issue, if the parents do not work it out well early on. These strong emotions can make custody disputes difficult, and they can also prompt people to make mistakes. These mistakes can be costly, and end up being the deciding factor in a custody case. Consequently, it is important for parents in these disputes to stay civil, stay honest, and stay persistent, so that they can have their best chance at the custody arrangement that they want their kids to have.
Staying civil is one of the most important parts of the child custody process, and all too often parents fail to do it. While this is understandable in light of the important issues being decided, rudeness will do more harm than good. Illinois law gives judges a wide range of discretion to decide custody issues in the best interests of the child. A judge seeing one parent being uncivil to the other is going to think worse of that parent, especially if the other parent stays above it. There is also a special warning here not to be uncivil about the other parent to the children. Judges are especially poorly-disposed to that, and many even issue legal orders forbidding it.
Dishonesty with the court is another mistake that can land a parent in hot water during a custody dispute. Courts and lawyers have a strong set of tools to ferret out dishonesty, and a person having their credibility damaged like that is a sure way to make the judge discount their statements in the future. Similarly, people should be sure to obey a judges orders completely, and not try to hide any disobedience. First, there could be legal consequences just for violating the order, and second, it is a surefire way to put the judge in the other parents corner.
Finally, parents in custody disputes need to stay persistent. Being civil and honest is not the same thing as being a doormat. Parents can find custody disputes emotionally draining, especially when dealing with a spouse who is not following these tips. However, calm, polite, firmness can often be the best tactic to show the court a reasonable parent who it would be in the childs best interests to live with.
Divorce cases are not always easy, and issues of child custody can be especially difficult. However, people do not have to go through this process alone. If you are considering filing for divorce, contact an experienced Naperville divorce attorney today to make sure you have someone on your side.