Divorces are stressful, particularly when it comes time to determine custody arrangements. You want to make sure that you have adequate time with your children and that their best interests are represented in whatever arrangements are made. To help you navigate this process, we've assembled a list of mistakes to avoid that come directly from child custody lawyers who work with cases like yours on a daily basis.

Ask a Child Custody Lawyer: 7 Mistakes to Avoid During a Case

1. Not Having an Experienced Custody Lawyer

Lawyers tend to specialize in certain areas of practice, and you will want to make sure you find a lawyer who has experience and a proven track record in producing positive outcomes during custody cases. You will absolutely want to spend time looking for the best custody lawyers for women in Columbus. OH to represent you throughout this process.

An experienced lawyer will help you avoid any legal pitfalls that you may not be aware of. Entering into this process without someone by your side can leave you vulnerable to being taken advantage of or agreeing to things that are not in the best interest of your children or yourself. Given the fact that the custody of your children may be at stake, it is worth seeking out good legal representation.

2. Bad Communication

Emotions run high during child custody cases, and it is very common for these feelings to spill over into your interactions with your ex. This can harm your case in the long run, and negatively impact your children as well. Try to limit conversations to issues directly related to your children and their needs, if at all possible.

Avoid negative outbursts during your conversations, and try to stick to just the facts. If you can show that you are capable of respectfully co-parenting with your ex, it will benefit your custody chances in the long run. 

3. Unwillingness to Compromise

The court is going to be looking to make custody arrangements that suit the best interests of the child. If you are unwilling to compromise on the arrangements you desire, it could easily be seen as you putting your own interests ahead of those of your children. You want to show above all else that you put your children's happiness and well-being first and that you are able to co-parent successfully. 

4. Involving Children in Arguments

Children have a hard enough time during a divorce, they don't need the stress of being pulled into arguments between you and your ex. Doing so reflects poorly on you as a parent, and may result in judgments against you in your case. It is in your children's best interest for you to do your part to cooperate and peacefully co-parent with your ex.  
Avoid speaking negatively about the other parent in front of your children, oversharing details of the case, or having your kids spy on the actions of your ex. Your children should not be used as messengers to share information back and forth, nor should they be asked to take sides in your disputes. 

5. Posting on Social Media

It may be tempting to post regular details about your life, your children, and your divorce on social media but this could harm your case. This is especially true if your social media accounts contain any content that could be used to paint you as reckless, negligent, or as a parent who is incapable of making wise decisions. Posts that demean your ex can also be used to show you are unwilling to co-parent peacefully. 

Remember that you have no expectation of privacy when posting online, and you never know who could be sharing your content with the opposing parties. Often the safest decision you can make is to deactivate these accounts altogether during your custody proceedings.  

6. Poor Record Keeping

It is important that you keep accurate records of everything that goes on during this process. Is your ex communicating with you in inappropriate ways? Are they missing their parenting time or seeing the children inconsistently? Are your children being negatively impacted by something that is going on during this time? 

Keep a written record of any events that occur, with as much detail as you can remember. Be sure to save any written communications via text, email, or social media that could demonstrate ongoing issues with your ex. Keeping good records can be key to showing the court any issues that may be occurring within your co-parenting arrangement. 

7. Ignoring the Judge's Orders

One of the worst mistakes you can make is going against orders made by the judge in your case. If they have ordered you to pay child support, attend parenting classes, or give you any other requirements, you are expected to follow through on them. Failure to do so will show the court that you are unwilling to follow any agreements or court orders that may be made regarding your children. 

Throughout this entire process, the main priority is looking out for the best interests of your children. Maintaining a pleasant relationship with your ex, being willing to compromise in ways that benefit your children, and working constantly to successfully co-parent are all essential to achieving a positive outcome in your child custody case.