Matrimonial and Family Law Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What are the most common mistakes fathers make in New York child custody cases?

Child custody battles are stressful and heart wrenching. All you want is what is best for your children, but that is not always what is on your spouse’s mind. Some parents feel that using their children as pawns is acceptable behavior, which makes child custody lawsuits so difficult.

If parents cannot agree on how to co-parent their children after divorce, ultimately, it will be up to the judge to determine what is in the best interest of the children, based on the evidence he or she has.

Best Interest of the Child Standard

In order to determine what the best interests of the children are, the judge will look at a number of factors, including:

  • Who currently has custody and for how long
  • How the child is adjusting to home, school and community
  • Interactions with parents, siblings and other significant persons
  • Evidence of spousal or child abuse
  • Willingness and ability to each parent to respect and foster the bond that the child has with the other parent

The judge will look at evidence from declarations, interviews with family members and friends and evaluations of mental health professionals in order to make this determination. With this in mind, keep reading for tips on what others have done wrong during the custody process that have cost them time with their children. Your best bet for winning a child custody battle is to be on your best behavior at all times.

Criticizing Your Ex In Front of Your Children or Others

Children want to love and be loved by both parents. If one is bad-mouthing the other one in front of the child, this creates confusion in the child and can lead to alienation. Likewise, if you need to vent about something your ex has done or not done, consider writing it down and then destroying it. Treat any conversation you have with anyone as one that is being recorded. Your ex will use any sign of bad behavior against you during the custody determination process.

Having a Verbal Physical Altercation

Again, being on your best behavior means not losing your cool…with anyone. In the age of smartphones, your behavior will likely be video or audio recorded and may wind up in the hands of the judge in your custody case.

Moving In With a New Significant Other

Yes, everyone wants to be able to find love and move on after a divorce. However, if you are going through a custody battle with your ex, it is ill advised to begin co-habitating with a new significant other during this process. It is confusing for your children and may cause them emotional distress. Easing children into your new relationship is the best option.

Failing to Pay Child Support

If you have been ordered to pay child support and you fail to do so, the judge will likely see this as disrespectful to the court and your family. If you are having trouble meeting your obligations, talk to an attorney or petition the court for a new financial arrangement.

Are you seeking a custody change?

Before you do anything, talk to an experienced custody attorney. Our experienced child custody lawyers will help you fight for your child’s best interest.  If you are considering a change in your custody arrangements call the law offices of Gassman Baiamonte Betts, PC today at 516.228.9181.

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