A family court will award child custody based on the best interests and safety of the child. New York parents who are unable to prove their fitness could find themselves losing a custody fight. To prevent disappointment during custody hearings, parents should learn to avoid making costly mistakes.
Common mistakes during custody hearings
Divorces might involve bitter disagreements, but displaying antagonism toward a spouse could hurt a child custody petition. Refusing to work with the other parent or otherwise being confrontational might not build the best impression. A judge may question such a parent’s temperament and lean toward awarding custody to someone else.
The courts also look at the parent’s behavior to determine if he or she is a responsible person. Not paying for schooling or health care expenses or showing up late for visitations doesn’t cast a parent in the best light. Concerns may exist about such irresponsible behavior becoming worse and creating further problems for the child.
Rescheduling visitations may be impossible to avoid at times, but consistently changing the pickup days and times may show that a parent’s priorities are elsewhere. Poor communication, combined with constant rescheduling, might make the situation look worse.
Further errors a parent might make
Failing to document things could come back to hurt a parent seeking custody of a child. The other parent could make false accusations about irresponsible behavior, but proper documentation may refute what the other party says.
Learning about child custody laws could help a parent present the best possible case in court and make a positive impression on the judge. Mistakes during child custody hearings could prove devastating, so it’s important for parents seeking custody to come prepared.