7 Mistakes to Avoid During a Tennessee Child Custody Case
Posted by Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC on January 14, 2022
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Child custody cases are always stressful, and various factors can influence the verdict. Since the judge’s ruling is meant to favor your child’s best interests, you’ll want to show the court that you deserve custody. However, even a small mistake can jeopardize the results. Because of this, you need to be careful and do all that you can to show that you deserve custody of your child.
Learning about the pitfalls can help you steer clear of them and improve your chances of keeping your children. Let’s look at seven common mistakes you should avoid making during a Tennessee child custody case.
1. Engaging in Verbal/Physical Altercations with Your Ex-Spouse
Understandably, you might not be on the best of terms with your ex-spouse while seeking custody of your child. Regardless of your current feelings towards your ex-spouse, badmouthing them in public won’t earn you any points. Remember that no judge condones shouting matches and fistfights.
More importantly, do not speak badly about your ex in front of your children. Remember that your ex-spouse is still their parent, and it’s harmful for them to hear one parent speak poorly about the other. In case you and your ex cannot resolve custody placement, the court may appoint a third party to interview your children. What they say about your behavior will affect the results.
2. Refusing to Compromise
A custody battle puts your children’s well-being at stake. You and your ex-spouse both need to do what you can to do what’s best for them. So, you must swallow your pride and communicate with your partner as much as possible, instead of trying to get back at them. If you feel too emotional to hold a civil discussion, you can ask a family law attorney to intervene.
3. Venting the Wrong Way on Social Media
It’s easy to forget that social media is a public platform. Whatever you post is out there for everyone to see. And, unless you’re careful about social media activity, these posts can easily be used against you in court. Pictures of you under the influence of alcohol or drugs or making statements denouncing your ex-spouse can severely hurt your custody case. In general, you should always be careful of what you post on the internet, but especially during a time like this.
4. Removing Children from Their Activities
In any child custody case, it’s the children who suffer the most. Suddenly, they find their entire world turned upside down. Needless to say, this can harm their mental well-being. Try your best to keep the children in their regular activities, such as school and co-curriculars. This can help maintain some semblance of normalcy in their lives.
5. Withholding Visitation from Your Ex-Spouse
Cutting your ex-spouse out of your children’s lives is always a bad idea, unless you have an urgent reason. For example, if your ex-spouse is abusive and poses a threat to your child, you may have grounds to withhold visitation. However, you should not deny your children contact with the other parent out of spite and harm what would otherwise be a healthy relationship.
6. Disobeying Interim Court Custody Orders
Before the final verdict is announced, the court may issue temporary custody orders that will persist until the trial. Disregarding these orders will prove to the court that you have no respect for their authority. Showing that you can’t follow the court’s orders will not help your case at all.
7. Not Consulting a Family Law Attorney
A Tennessee custody case may seem like an overwhelming maze of paperwork, hearing dates, and schedules. Add to that the emotional stress of a divorce, and you have a situation that can feel impossible to get through. Since you cannot afford to miss even a single detail in a custody case, you should seek help from a family law attorney. An attorney who knows Tennessee child custody laws can argue the case on your behalf, keep track of documents, and use their experience to present your side of things as best as possible.
Find a Family Law Attorney for your Tennessee Custody Case
At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC, we know how stressful child custody cases can be for the whole family. We’ve helped many through this process and understand how Tennessee child custody laws work, so our knowledge and experience can give you the best chance at receiving custody. Our family law firm will give you the care and assistance you need during this difficult time.