Many Oklahoma families are currently navigating divorce. If yours is one of them, you no doubt want to achieve a fair settlement and effective agreement regarding your children. Even the most basic child custody case can be stressful. There are certain things you will want to avoid doing, however, if you want to keep stress to a minimum and avoid legal problems.
Like all good parents, you want what’s best for your kids. During child custody proceedings, however, trouble can arise if you and your ex disagree on the subject. For example, what if you want to send your children to a private school but your ex wants them to be homeschooled? A disagreement doesn’t necessarily have to stir up a contentious legal battle, provided you’re both willing to cooperate and peacefully negotiate a solution.
Never lie to a child custody judge
If you lie in an Oklahoma court during child custody proceedings, the judge can hold you in contempt. Even if the issue up for discussion is not in your favor (such as if you have a substance abuse problem and your ex is seeking sole custody), it’s always best to answer all questions truthfully. As for substance abuse, you should avoid this if you hope to gain the court’s favor during divorce proceedings.
Leave the introduction of a new romantic partner for another time
It’s not a good idea to bring a new partner into the family equation before you’ve settled child custody issues. No one can tell you not to start dating again. However, when your goal is to achieve a fair settlement in a swift and amicable manner, it’s probably best not to involve your new partner in your custody case.
Don’t head straight to litigation if there are alternative options available
While litigation is often necessary to help a set of parents resolve child custody issues, you can use it as a last resort. Additional options, such as mediation or arbitration, might take less time and be less expensive. It’s helpful to research all available options, then determine which one best fits your family’s needs.
Always control your emotions and behavior in court
Child custody issues can evoke strong emotions, especially if you are seeking sole custody because your ex is not a fit parent. In any case, if you start shouting or behave in a way that the judge might find disrespectful or unruly, your chance of winning may be slim to none. No matter how your ex behaves, it is always best to conduct yourself in a calm and respectful manner.
Be prepared to demonstrate evidence in a child custody case
Another thing you’ll want to avoid in an Oklahoma child custody case is entering the courtroom unprepared. If you accuse your ex of being unfit, for instance, the court expects you to demonstrate evidence that supports your allegations. Aim to have all paperwork in order and evidence available to achieve your goal of winning the court’s favor.