Going through a divorce or custody case is difficult on all parties involved, especially children. Emotions and stress run high, and people suffer from uncertainty about what life will be like when litigation concludes. How you behave while your case is pending can have a great impact on the outcome of your case. Here are some behaviors to avoid.
Putting Your Children in The Middle
One destructive behavior that can negatively impact your matter is putting the children in the middle of the divorce or custody case. Children, like adults, are likely to feel the stress of uncertainty regarding their future. Children may be compelled to move, change schools, and cease activities they enjoyed but which their parents may no longer be able to afford, or which may no longer be conveniently located. Courts are required to decide what is in the children’s best interests and in doing so, they will be looking to see whether the parents are placing their children’s interests before their own. The court will also be looking to see whether parents can effectively co-parent by making decisions together.
Parents should not be using their children to convey information, not only because doing so places undue stress on the children, but because it could demonstrate an inability on the part of parents to effectively communicate and make decisions together. Courts faced with parents who cannot make decisions together may choose to award sole decision-making authority to one parent.
Violating Court Orders
At the outset of every case and sometimes in interim hearings, courts issue automatic injunctions and temporary orders to parents. It is important that parents follow all such Orders. Not only can violations result in punishment meted out by the Court to the violator, but again, in determining the best interests of children, court must consider whether the parents are putting the interest of their children before their own. Violating court orders may suggest to the court that a parent is not placing the children’s interests first, and this could result in permanent orders for parenting time and decision-making that are unfavorable to the noncompliant parent.
Not being Transparent with your Attorney & Legal Team
Your legal team is charged with counseling you and serving as your advocate before the court. Your team cannot be effective without sufficient information from you upon which to provide you with objective advice to enable you to make informed decisions about your case. Nor can your team effectively prepare for the hearing or trial without adequate information from you about issues that may arise.
You should speak candidly and in confidence with your counsel knowing that he or she is bound to protect the confidentiality of the information you share while also helping you understand what may be to your advantage to disclose to the court.
For more information about behaviors to avoid and what you can do to increase the chances of achieving your legal goals, please contact the lawyers at The Harris Law Firm.