You see The Hulk and think, how strong, how vengeance-wreaking, how angry he is. We see The Hulk and think: whole-body bruising. Well, we don’t—but we know someone who does. Stanford University biology researcher Sebastian Alvarado1 says he knows all the superheroes’ weaknesses, like the The Hulk’s hemoglobin metabolite, biliverdin, that accounts for the green tinge at a bruise’s edge. You try to be Superdad, but you have weaknesses, too. Do not make these six super mistakes during your superbattle for child custody.
It’s Super Social Media Man!
Go ahead, post pictures of that new 52” flat screen television, you at a rowdy Virginia Cavaliers tailgating party passed out amidst a pile of beer bottles, or you on Virginia Beach’s boardwalk with “that special someone” in a slingshot bikini who is most definitely not your children’s mother. You may be able to post pictures and status updates faster than a speeding bullet, but you just shot yourself in the foot.
Lay off social media throughout the divorce and into the custody battle. Discourage friends from tagging you in pictures they post. The less public your profile, the better.
The Guardian Ad Litem is Not Your GAL-Pal
Your child’s guardian ad litem (GAL if you disrespect the Latin) is legally bound by the judge and court to pass judgment on you. He or she is the child’s lawyer, independent of either your ex-wife or you. The GAL interviews your children, makes home visits, and recommends to the court the best path for custody and visitation. Best for your children, not for you.
The GAL is neither your arch-nemesis nor your friend. She or he is acting in the best interest of your child and will ask you questions about their mother, which automatically means she will ask your ex-wife questions about you, their father. Avoid giving the GAL anything that could be your Kryptonite. Answer questions as quickly and briefly as possible, but do not come off as cold. Do not trash-talk your ex-wife, either, because the GAL will burrow through that like The Underminer through a city.
The Alienator (of Affection): Chancing Parental Alienation
You definitely do not want to wear the cape of the Alienator of Affection. Your children are not your therapist; do not ever say anything negative about their mother in their presence, because you can be accused of attempting alienation of affection toward their mother. This means simple things, like:
- Do not raise your voice to your children or ex-wife
- Do not ask your children to be your spies
- Do not argue with your wife in the children’s presence
- Do not grill your children about their mother’s behavior
- Do not play amateur psychologist and attempt to get your children to say bad things about their mother
Superheroes Do Not Hit Women
At all costs, avoid a physical confrontation of any kind with your wife or ex-wife. Even if she baits, goads or teases you, do nothing that could be even distantly interpreted as a violent act against her, and never do anything negative in front of your children during the custody battle.
If she acts out against you, call the police. You really are not a superhero, and any violence she displays must be reported. Judges can take the behavior of father and mother into account when deciding custody. A police report on file that shows she hit, pushed or abused you will give strong evidence that she cannot be trusted with your children.
Master Moneybags, Dodging Support Rulings at Every Turn
You may think you are being a superhero by withholding economic support for your wife or your children, but you are really making a super-sized mistake. If the court, as part of the proceedings toward custody, orders you to pay (even temporarily) anything to your wife or ex-wife, pay it. Do not attempt to use it as a bargaining tool, because you will lose. Virginia has an entire section2 of a state department to go after you, and it will.
If you want to challenge the amounts or ask for a reassessment, go through your attorney, and never withhold payment.
Professor Pushover and Total Devastation
Do nothing without advice from your lawyer. Some parents try to be nice to the other parent, like sending the child to spend time with Mom out of state, and end up losing the custody fight, as mentioned in an article from The Huffington Post. Avoid being the aggressor, of course, but avoid being a pushover. Your nice intentions can lead to expensive legal bills.
These just scratch the surface of bad moves you could make to mess up your custody hearing. Call The Firm for Men at 757-383-9184 or contact us online. We can put you touch with a father’s rights attorney experienced in child custody and visitation. We can be much more than your sidekick as we fight for truth, justice, the American Way—and custody of your kids.