What Not To Do In A Child Custody Dispute

In Family Law, child custody disputes can be the most emotional types of cases. Parents involved often allow their emotions towards each other to dictate what direction they take the case in, which often leads to unnecessary court appearances and a long, drawn out case.


Judges don’t like their orders to be ignored. Remember, they are the ones who will be making the decisions in your case, so even when you aren’t happy with what has been ordered, you should follow it until it is further modified or changed.


Self-help is where a person takes action without legal authority, such as taking the kids when it is not your custody time without the other parent’s consent, or moving away with children without getting consent. If a problems arises, it is usually best to get legal help before taking the law into your own hands. If there is an emergency problem, contact law enforcement, or get emergency orders from the court, such as a restraining order. But taking matters into your own hands can significantly hurt your overall case, and can cause you to lose custody.


Sometime parents believe that if they accuse the other parent of abuse, it will benefit their case. When there is real abuse, that is a serious concern and should be brought up, but making false accusations to leverage a custody case will only cause delay, unnecessary expenses and costs, potentially put the children through uncomfortable investigations, and will in the long run hurt the case of the false accuser.

Another thing to keep in mind, such accusations can often backfire. When abuse allegations are made, the Department of Child and Family Services may become involved, and when they do an investigation, they will be looking for any abuse or negligent by either parent. What this means is an accusing parent may find themselves under the spotlight instead of the other parent.


Children go through enough with separated households, and a parent should avoid speaking directly about case problems with them or trying to sway the kids to benefit their case. Children don’t want to disappoint either parent, and trying to use them to benefit your overall case can cause emotional trauma for them. Avoid also arguing or discussing problems with the other parent in front of the children.


There are many things that affect a chid custody, but the temptation to do dishonest acts or take matters into your own hands can have a detrimental impact on your custody case. If you aren’t sure about what to do, consult an attorney, or file your petition to the Court before taking action without a court order. Keep your emotions in check, or they could unravel your entire case.


About thomasmaclean

Attorney based in Burbank, CA.
This entry was posted in Child Custody, Divorce, Marriage, Parentage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Not To Do In A Child Custody Dispute

  1. Researching divorce & dissolution says:

    Very useful information. SO many people should read this before they enter a custody case and act like an idiot. Thanks for posting!

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