Parents seeking to create or modify an Illinois parenting agreement often experience heated disagreements about the best arrangement for their children. When mediation or other negotiations fail to resolve the conflict, or when abuse or violence is present, parents may need to take the case to trial. Child custody trials have many unpleasant features, perhaps the most significant being that each parent’s behaviors are brought into the limelight. Judges will examine your home environment, personality, and parenting skills in scrupulous detail. Here are three mistakes to avoid if you are seeking parenting time and parental responsibilities in an Illinois child custody case.
Discussing Your Case on Social Media
It can be tempting to vent your frustrations on social media where you can find many people willing to sympathize and give you encouragement. But sharing on social media, even in ways that may seem innocuous, potentially exposes you to further attention and criticism. Avoid talking about anything related to your divorce and – even better – avoid social media altogether until your case is finalized.
Making the Conflict Personal
By the time parents are at court fighting over custody, their personal differences are usually so great that it is difficult to be neutral. Custody conflicts can become more about the parents fighting with each other than seeking what is best for their children. No matter how understandable your resentment towards your child’s other parent may be, judges sometimes view personal conflict with great distaste because it makes the children the victims of their parents’ problems. Rather than trying to “win” in your parenting conflict, make your business to place the focus on what is best for your child. Judges have seen many different situations and are very good and sussing out a parent’s true interests; if your priority is your child’s well-being, this will be apparent.
Failing to Protect Your Children
Building on the previous point, failing to protect children from the ugliness of parental conflict is a major red flag for family judges. This can manifest as selfish and unreasonable demands in court, but it can also appear in more subtle ways. Badmouthing your child’s other parent, using the child to transmit messages to the other parent, or failing to appear on time to your scheduled parenting time can make you less likely to see your preferences met in the judge’s final decision.
Schedule a Consultation with a DuPage County Child Custody Lawyer
Making mistakes in your parental responsibilities case can have long-term implications for your relationship with your children. When the stakes are this high, make sure you get help from an experienced Wheaton, IL parental responsibilities lawyer. At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C., you can schedule a confidential consultation and get an idea of how we could help with your case; call us today at 630-462-9500 to set your appointment now.