Separation and divorce are exhausting and take a real toll on both spouses in some way or another. Emotions and nerves may teeter on the brink of breaking even the strongest person.
When there are children in the picture, the stress of divorce can increase tenfold. The thought of only seeing your children on a part-time basis may eat you alive and cause you to have higher amounts of adrenaline coursing through your veins. This may lead you to make irrational decisions. Avoid these damaging behaviors to boost your chances of getting a favorable custody ruling.
Putting the children in the middle
You may not agree with what your ex does, and the thought of having to communicate may make you cringe. However, utilizing your children to pass messages back and forth to the other parent is a huge misstep. The court does not look fondly at this behavior, as it makes kids feel emotionally torn between their two parents.
Bad-mouthing the other parent
Going around town spewing negativity about your former spouse is another thing that may reflect badly in front of a judge. Part of co-parenting after divorce is ensuring your child has a positive relationship with the other parent, regardless of your personal feelings. Thus, if you talk openly about your distaste with your ex, your child will know how you really feel and may start emotionally detaching from the other parent or even you.
Coaching the children
Parents have a lot of influence over their children. Parental alienation may start innocently enough, but it quickly becomes a damaging force on a child-parent relationship. An early aspect of this is coaching children to lie or omit things when speaking with the other parent. If the other parent suspects you of this behavior, you may wind up risking your custody chances.
In the midst of a custody battle, it is a good idea to remain as neutral as possible. If you need to speak with someone about the negativity you feel, consider seeing a psychologist or support group. Your attorney can recommend a proper course of action.