3 Joint Child Custody Mistakes to Avoid
Sharing custody after a divorce is challenging, especially if the marriage did not end on the best of terms. When sharing custody, you’re required to stay in contact with your ex whether you want to or not. This can be an emotional experience for some people; learning to co-parent takes time. Still, it is important that you avoid making these three mistakes as you adjust to your new custody setup.
1. Withholding Visitation
When you’re feeling frustrated with your former spouse, you may feel like it’s best to respond by preventing them from seeing the children. Withholding visitation, however, can lead to major problems with joint custody.
Custody agreements are legally binding — failure to comply with the court orders means you are in contempt of court. If your spouse seeks legal assistance and the judge finds you in contempt of court, you face:
- Jail time
- Loss of primary custodial rights
Remember that visitation is for the benefit of the children so they can have a strong relationship with both of their parents. If you are struggling to make agreements with your ex, or they aren’t making their court-ordered support payments, seek legal help instead of withholding custody as retribution.
2. Speaking Poorly About Your Ex
It’s unrealistic to believe that after a divorce, you’re never going to speak poorly about your ex-spouse. What we mean, however, is that you should refrain from badmouthing your former spouse in front of your children. Not only can this put your children in an uncomfortable position, but it may also lead them to judge their parent and harm their separate parent-child relationship.
When children witness negativity between their parents it can cause emotional distress, which is the last thing you want for your kids. If you feel like you need to vent or complain about your ex, call a friend or adult family member.
3. Relocating Without Preparation
There are steps you need to take before moving.
You must file a notice of intent to relocate if:
- Your move will increase the distance from the other parent by more than 20 miles.
- Your child’s school will change as a result of the move.
After you have filed a notice of intent, the non-relocating parent has the opportunity to object to the relocation. If this occurs, the court will evaluate the reason for the move and if it is in the best interest of the child.
Indiana Child Custody Lawyers
Need to discuss matters regarding your joint custody agreement? Talk to our team at HOLLINGSWORTH ROBERTS MEANS. We can help address your questions and concerns; call us today at (888) 211-3888 to set up a consultation.