One of the most painful aspects of divorce is losing time with your child. In Illinois, the court shall make a child custody determination based on factors relevant to your child’s rearing and overall well-being. You should avoid these mistakes if you hope to have a stronger chance of achieving joint or sole custody.
Refusal to cooperate or collaborate with your ex
As one of two parents, you must learn how to co-parent effectively. It does not mean that you must agree to all the terms of your ex. It would be best if you could resolve the disputes collaboratively. The court will establish specific guidelines, and your legal responsibility as a parent is to adhere to those orders. For the court to award you child custody, you must have the mental and emotional stability to cooperate with your child’s other parent.
The relationship between you and your ex must be civil, which means you should learn how to coexist, especially in the presence of your child. Never engage in verbal or physical confrontations with your ex.
Withholding visitation or information from your ex
Divorce alone takes a toll on any party involved. You may want to spend time away from the chaos. You must inform the co-parent if you want to go away on vacation with your child. Keep a record of agreements between you and your ex so they cannot use anything against you in court.
You also cannot withhold visitation rights from your ex. Only the court can make that decision, and they will base it on reasonable elements. Similarly, you may only make significant decisions for your child with the knowledge or agreement of the other parent if the court has not yet awarded you sole legal custody. The other parent has the right to information regarding their child even though they only have visitation rights.
Failing to perform your parental obligations
If you want an advantage in court, you should have a frequent and positive involvement in your child’s life. Your goal is not to compete with the other parent. It is to be in your child’s life as often and as much as possible.
By performing your parental obligations, the court will witness your desire to be actively present in your child’s life. More importantly, your relationship with your child will be stronger. If you give your child all the love and attention they deserve, with their best interests in mind, you will have a solid chance at retaining custody.