When kids are involved, a divorce can take a turn for the worse, especially when both parties cannot agree on child custody. In Pennsylvania, the court can award different types of child custody, from shared to partial to primary and even supervised custody. As a parent, you want what is best for your child, meaning ideally, they should be with you. You want physical and legal custody. You want to not only make significant life decisions for your child, but also want to have primary physical custody. If you are facing a child custody battle wherein you and the other parent want opposing outcomes, you should avoid these mistakes.
Refusing to co-parent peacefully with your former spouse
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is confronting your spouse verbally and physically in front of your child. The home environment plays a fundamental role in maintaining physical custody. Your child should feel safe and comfortable staying with you. Avoid speaking negatively about your ex. Similarly, honor the other party’s parental rights, such as visitation. The court should know that the custodial parent will respect court orders despite their previous adverse relationship. Refusing to communicate with your former spouse may negatively impact your custody case.
Posting negative things on social media
Anything you post can incriminate you in court. Your spouse can use photos or videos that you post that contain alcohol or controlled substances. They can make it appear that you have a substance abuse problem. Posts that contain luxury items can also lead to higher alimony and child support awards. Always be cautious when posting on social media. Remember that your ex may gain access to your accounts despite your privacy settings.
Failing to uphold your parental obligations
You want to prove to the court that you are the better parent, but you should prove it to your child and yourself first. If work gets in the way of picking your child up from school or attending soccer games, the court may consider that as a red flag. You may also want to avoid starting new serious romantic relationships until you are able to create a stable parent-child relationship. If the court gave you temporary court orders, you must abide. Prioritize your child.
If you want to maintain custody of your child, you must fight for it. Do not underestimate your ex’s desire to fight as well. It is not enough to be active; you must be proactive.