Child custody battles are time-consuming, expensive and emotional. You’ve probably spent a lot of time looking at the “best interests of the child” standards in Michigan so that you have some idea of what a judge will consider during your case.
Those “best interests” don’t just make it clear what you need to do to be a good parent, however. They also provide some clues about what can ruin your custody case. Here are some things that you absolutely want to avoid:
- Emptying the family bank accounts: Sure, your intention might be to limit your spouse’s ability to fight you in court, but you could inadvertently deprive your children of food, shelter and clothing in the process. That never goes over well in court.
- Introducing the kids to their “new mommy or daddy” before the divorce is even final: This can cause the court to question your moral fitness as a parent. It may also indicate that your home is less than stable during a critical period of adjustment for the kids.
- Keeping your kids from their other parent: Whatever your reasoning, the only thing the court is going to hear is that you are unwilling to facilitate an ongoing relationship between that other parent and the children — and that’s definitely not going to help your case.
- Forcing your children to choose between you and their other parent: You won’t win any “parent of the year” trophies if you damage your kids emotionally by making them declare their love for one parent over the other — and you could be accused of purposely trying to alienate their affections for the other parent.
Don’t make these kinds of mistakes in your custody case. Talk over your strategy for custody with an experienced attorney who can give you no-nonsense information about what steps you should (and shouldn’t) take next.