It is very rare for a couple going through a divorce to get through it with ease, especially when the cause of the divorce was attributed to infidelity, domestic violence, or the lack of one spouse serving their role as a husband or wife. The fact is, divorces aren’t easy, and neither is getting through any of the other matters that often must be addressed because of them. For instance, creating a fair and effective child custody agreement is probably one of the most difficult things a couple will find themselves having to do which is why the court is often required to step in and create one for them.
The fact is, most parents involved in a divorce both want custody over their child(ren) and will go to great lengths to get it. This often results in the unfolding of a child custody battle and both parties fighting for more time with their kids. So, if you are in the midst of a child custody dispute and want to be sure you don’t make any mistakes that could jeopardize your chances of winning the battle, read on below as we offer some helpful advice on what not to do during a custody battle that could cause the judge to award you the role of being the non-custodial parent.
Understanding How the Court Awards Custody in the State of Michigan
When the court is determining how child custody should be awarded, it will take into consideration what is in the best interest of the child before anything else. Currently, the Michigan court system will use the following factors to establish what is in the best interest of the child:
- The ability of both parents to provide their child with food, clothing, medical care, etc.
- The timeframe in which the child has lived in a stable and adequate environment and both parents’ desire to continue providing this type of environment for their child.
- The moral fitness of both parents.
- The permanence of the homes in which both parents will reside in or are currently residing in.
- The home, school, and community the child most associates with.
- The love, affection, and other emotional ties that exist between the parties involved in the child’s life.
- The capacity and disposition of the parties and their ability to remain involved and provide the guidance and education the child needs.
[Source: Michigan Child Custody Act].
Now that you understand what the court is going to be analyzing when trying to establish a custody order, here are some things you don’t want to do that could potentially jeopardize your chances of being granted adequate time with your kids.
- Avoid talking badly to your kids about their other parent. The court encourages parents who are separating to support a healthy relationship between the parties involved. But, if you begin talking badly or even slandering your soon-to-be-ex-partner, this could come back to haunt you in court when he/she shares with the judge what has been transpiring outside of the courtroom.
- Don’t ignore court orders. If the judge requires you to do something, always comply with it. If you neglect to follow any court orders, the judge could very well factor this into the decision-making process.
- Don’t get hostile in the courtroom or outside of it. While it is understandable that you are angry, upset, and even frustrated, you shouldn’t let your feelings get the best of you. If you show any signs of hostility, your child’s other parent could use this against you and the court may not wish to grant custody to a parent that it thinks is aggressive and a potential threat to the wellbeing of their child.
Aside from taking these tips into consideration, you should also contact Lansing, MI child custody attorney Stuart R. Shafer who can coach you during the child custody battle and ensure you refrain from making any mistakes that could impact the court’s decision. Child custody battles, just like divorces, are difficult matters to get through which is why you should have an experienced custody attorney working with you and helping you each step of the way. If you would like to speak with a lawyer now to learn more about how to win your child custody case, contact the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. today.
You can reach the Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer, P.C. at:
1223 Turner Street, #333
Lansing, MI 48906