Understanding The Dos And Don’ts Of Virginia Child Custody Proceedings
There may be no other aspect of your divorce that is more contentious than your child custody proceeding. The orders that are established by the court will essentially define your parental rights, and the process can become extremely emotional. The court is very careful to establish orders that serve the best interests of the children, and the parents’ behavior throughout the process can directly impact the court’s decision.
At Weisberg & Weisberg, PLLC, in Newport News, we understand how important it is for parents to maintain a meaningful relationship with their children after a divorce. However, we have also seen the things parents do in an effort to improve their own chances of a favorable result that, in the end, do nothing but hurt their standing with the court.
Our child custody FAQ offers a brief list of the dos and don’ts we recommend our clients keep in mind in these matters:
- Act in your children’s best interests at all times: Provide loving care and support. Maintain a healthy and nurturing living environment.
- Act responsibly in all matters pertaining to your children: Show up for appointments on time. If it is your day to pick them up from school, don’t be late. In everything you do, show that you are an attentive and responsible parent.
- Provide for your children’s basic needs: When the children are under your care, make sure they are well fed, bathed and nicely dressed. These may seem like very fundamental things, but parents who do not deliver on the basics can be at a serious disadvantage.
- Speak ill of your co-parent: One of the factors the court looks at in determining custody is the inclination of the parents to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. Disparaging a child’s parent, whether directly or to others, will cause the court to not look favorably upon your case. As a result, it is essential that caution and discretion are used in all forms of communication and social media. Always assume that anything you say or write will be heard or seen by a judge.
- Act out: We know that these are terribly trying times, but you need to keep your emotions in check. You need to understand that your every move is being watched, and even the slightest misstep could hurt your efforts to obtain custody.
- Make threats: This might be the worst thing you could do. Regardless of what the context of the threat might be, just the fact that you made one could be used to paint you as a volatile person who does not ultimately have the best interest of your child in mind.