Getting custody of your child or children is a battle enough during court proceedings but to help you along, avoiding these nine mistakes while trying to gain custody will make the process a lot easier for you.

Verbal Altercations

A custody battle sometimes evokes feelings of anger, jealousy, confusion and betrayal and sometimes those feelings become too much to bear. It’s quite understandable with all the pressure and stress you’re under but one thing you simply must avoid during custody proceedings is initiating or becoming involved in a verbal altercation with your ex-partner. The courts wants to find the most stable and suitable parental figure for the children who are to be placed in custody and initiating or engaging in a verbal altercation with your ex-partner will make them question your suitability. Be cool, be the better person and keep those hard feelings under check.


It’s easy to criticize your ex-partner to all and sundry during custody proceedings but there’s a time and place to do it and that’s not to your legal counsel, friends or family. They need straight facts. Delivering criticism makes you seem resentful and this will make your legal team question what motives you have for gaining custody of your child or children.

Child Care Responsibilities

One of the most overlooked aspects that leads to failure in obtaining custody of a child is your history of child care responsibilities. If you want the legal team to take you seriously and work in your favor, you need to take extra care to make sure you meet child maintenance payments in full and on time, turn up for appointments regarding your child and make sure they have good attendance in school, etcetera. Doing anything other than this will work against you.

Malicious Damage

Like with verbal altercations, sometimes our emotions get the better of us, but purposefully going out of your way to damage property – be it little or large – belonging to your ex-partner will be a big, very noticeable black mark against you in the custody proceedings. You need to be seen as a role model in the eyes of the court and your children. A role model doesn’t go about committing malicious acts.

Parental Contact

As much as you may not want to, you must allow the other parent to maintain contact with your children during the custody proceedings. They do have a right to see their children just as much as you do. So, avoid changing the schedule so they miss meetings and that involves making devious alterations to make it seem like a last minute thing. The court will see straight past these acts and see it for what it is: parental alienation and isolation.

Travel Activities

If you’re planning a holiday or trip with your children, like it or not, you have to keep the other parent in the loop. The courts will find out since they have powers at their disposal to do so. Traveling outside the local area without informing the other parent will work against you in the long run and that’s not what you need during a custody battle.

Self Presentation

It’s easy to want to blow off steam during such a stressful stage in your life but doing silly things like getting drunk and causing a nuisance in public will ultimately work against you. The courts are looking for the most stable and reliable parent and getting into trouble with the law for whatever reason during a custody battle will work against you. Wait for when you have custody to blow off steam. Responsibly, that is.

Physical Confrontation

Wanting to knock the seven bells out of your partner during a custody battle is probably a natural feeling a lot of divorcees are familiar with. The difference is between feeling and doing. If you attack your ex-partner in any way during a custody battle, it may end it with your ex getting custody as the courts will be concerned if the children will be placed into danger under your care. Feel it but don’t act on it.

Don’t Take It Out On The Child

Your child or children are probably a handful and that will feel sevenfold during a stressful custody battle, but that doesn’t excuse lashing out at them. It’s not their fault how you are feeling or how your ex-partner makes you feel. Lashing out at children is emotional abuse and it causes long term psychological problems for them. The courts will pay close attention to your interactions with your child or children and how they behave around you. If they sense the child resents you or is intimidated by you, they will pick up on it and it could swing the custody battle unfavorably against you.

Taking into account these 9 things to avoid during a custody battle should help you gain custody of your child or children. It is a stressful time but keeping cool and being a role model is what your children need, not the court.