Custody cases are complex. Here are 5 mistakes to avoid in a custody case.
- Withholding your child(ren) from the other parent. Absent extreme circumstances such as physical abuse, refusing to allow the other parent to see the child(ren) works against you in a custody case. Unless there is a true imminent threat to the child, you should not withhold visitation to the other parent. Not paying child support is not a valid reason, either. If a true threat exists, you should immediately file a Motion for Temporary Orders with the court to ask for an order denying visitation. Otherwise, you should be sure the other parent is allowed reasonable visitation at all times.
- Disobeying a Court Order. If a court order exists (temporary or permanent) in your case, be sure to follow it regardless of whether you agree with it or not. Failing to do so can result in you being found in contempt of court, something that you do not want against you when fighting for custody.
- Staying Willfully Unemployed or Underemployed. Each parent has a constitutional duty to provide for their child(ren). Nevada law prohibits a person from staying unemployed or underemployed for purposes of avoiding (or lowering) their child support obligations. Even if you have been a stay-at-home parent prior to divorce, it is likely you will now have to return to the workforce. Prepare to explain to the judge what your plans for obtaining employment are (what active steps are you taking?) Further, quitting a job and taking one that pays less can hurt you too if the judge believes you are doing so to intentionally lower your pay in order for your child support obligation to go down.
- Not Securing a Proper Residence. The court does not require you live in a fancy home in order to have overnight visitation with your child(ren). But, it does require that you have proper accommodations. What does this mean? It means your child should have a bedroom to sleep in (not the couch, not the floor), and although they can share their room with another child, the judge will want to know if this shared arrangement is appropriate – in other words, are the children similar in age, the same sex, and whether there are issues between the children (is one child known to bully or abuse the other, for example). Also, be aware the court will not look kindly to a household shared with those who have certain criminal backgrounds (felons, for example), and if substance abuse is taking place in the home among any residents, your case can be in big trouble as well.
- Posting on Social Media. Be very cautious what you put on social media. Photos of you drinking, abusing drugs, partying when the children are supposed to be in your custody, or posting negative things about your children’s other parent can all be used against you. Photos, just like texts, are commonly submitted as exhibits in custody cases. Posting a photo of driving around with your child when your child is not in a proper car seat? You can bet it will end up marked as an exhibit in court. Be careful what you post at all times. Don’t assume that just because the other party is blocked from your social media that you are in the clear to post whatever you desire. Your best bet is to refrain from posting too much personal information on social media at all times. Law enforcement also recommends refraining from posting personal information about your children (such as where they go to school, for example) for safety reasons that reach beyond your custody case. Social media may be fun, but it can cost you in a custody case.
We take your custody cases to heart at Devine Legal Group. If you are in need of a Las Vegas Child Custody Attorney, call us today for your free consultation at 702-515-1500. To learn more about custody in Nevada, see Child Custody – Devine Legal Group
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