Top Mistakes That Can Hurt Your Child Custody Case

When it comes to parents involved in child custody cases, everyone wants the most time with the children. In an effort to have the most time, however, some people make big mistakes, ones that hurt their child custody case. Here are a few of the top mistakes I see and my tips to make your custody case go more smoothly and help you gain more parenting time.


Fathers are always asking me how to gain more time with their children, and I first want to know how much time they are spending working and how much time being a coach for his daughter’s baseball team? Or helping their son with his homework? Parents who put in 60 or more work hours a week want to know how to keep in contact with their children. In all honesty, if you cannot change your work hours somewhat, it will be hard to ask for a lot of parenting time, let alone the majority of it if there is a custody dispute. One of the biggest mistakes a person can make when seeking the majority of the parenting time is working too much.

I have seen working fathers gain the majority of the parenting time however, even though they work. Working parents absolutely have the ability to gain the majority parenting time, but you need to make time for the children. After all, many households have two working parents. The real question is who is doing most of the parenting?


If you can work and have flexible hours that will allow you to go to your son’s baseball game, or go on the school field trip, that will help your case. Being there to go to the doctor, see the child’s school teacher, and helping with the homework-these are things that enable you to secure the majority of the parenting time.


First, doesn’t it look bad to your child? This is their parent and regardless of how you feel about that person, this is still the parent of your child. For a man to talk in a derogatory manner about their ex-wife in front of his son, what exactly is that man teaching his young son? It surely isn’t that he should respect women. And when women complain loudly on the phone about the lack of money they have while her ex-husband gets to go on vacation, what exactly is she teaching her child? This is the most disturbing part of a domestic relations practice. Time and time again we see children in the middle of such vicious behavior and although you can understand the anger, it is hard to see these children torn apart by their parents.

Instead of speaking negatively, why don’t you take your son out and pick out a present for his mother? Bake a cake with your son for his mom’s birthday? Draw dad a picture for Father’s Day. There are all kinds of nice things you can do. Sure, you don’t feel like doing it, but your child sees you acting respectful, even when they have to know their parents don’t really like each other.

In a custody case, to be the “custodial parent” you have to facilitate a relationship between the kids and the other parent. If you cannot do that, you will likely lose the majority of the parenting time, even if you do most of the work for the child. It can never hurt your case to be nice to the other parent and expect your child to be respectful as well.


Temporary orders for parenting time will most likely turn into a permanent order. If you are given every other weekend and everyone seems to be doing well with that schedule, why would the court change it?

If there is no agreement about parenting time, then the courts order mandatory mediation. That takes a couple of months. Still no agreement? Then it is possible that the child will be appointed an attorney. That will take 6 or more months and if no agreement, then a custody evaluator could be appointed. I have a case now where there is no parenting order yet and they are in their fourth year of litigation. Who do you think will be awarded the majority of the parenting time in that scenario? Unless there is something seriously wrong with the parent who has had the child during four years of litigation, then that parent is likely to keep the majority of the time.

You have to stay in the house if you can. Women know this too and will do all sorts of dastardly things to make the men move out, some even resorting to making up abuse to get orders of protection. If you are involved with a person like that, then you do need to get out-custody or not. Since you cannot have the majority of parenting time if you are sitting in jail.


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