[W]hile working to gain child custody, you will make mistakes, probably more than your share. Some seem worse than they are, you can recover. But too many custody-seeking dads sabotage their custody case, and just one negative comment, one moment of a lost temper, and your efforts can be torpedoed. And the blame won’t be with your attorney or your Ex or her legal representative. It will all fall on you.

What too many Dads fail to do is think about the image they are projecting or creating the right environment that can greatly help them reach their goals. And the results can be devastating, and permanent.

As has been noted here many times, judges will always fall back on “the child’s best interest,” and while that’s what you say you want, you have to make the judge agree with you. Situations that will almost always sink your chances of gaining child custody include (but not limited to): any type of spousal/child abuse, problems with alcohol, and the parent’s interaction with the child and even your Ex.

But other, less obvious situations can sink you, and they might be part of a general weakness.

Avoid Sabotaging Your Own Custody Case – Watch your Behavior

Your children’s mother will point out all negative behavior. Always think that the judge is with you in any room, any conversation. Also assume that children will tell their mother anything you tell them.

When talking on the phone, pretend she is recording everything you say. This is common, and one word spoken out of anger and frustration could become the catalyst for a court or judge’s decision. While in many situations, such recordings aren’t permissible, but judges sometimes allow them to determine a parent’s intentions or mental state. And although the recordings can be ‘iffy’ evidence for a custody decision, any text or e-mail can easily (and happily) turned into a judge for determination of parental fitness/mental state. Transcriptions of my Ex, mouthing off at exchanges, were presented to our social worker and played heavily on his recommendation to the court. So watch what you say.

Next time, we’ll cover the first five of the “10 Stupidest Mistakes Men Make When Facing Divorce and How to Avoid Them,” by Joseph Cordell, Esq.

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How have you hurt your custody case? What have you done in court that you later regretted?

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