Three Ways To Avoid Sabotaging Your Custody Agreement During A Divorce

If you have children and are in the process of divorcing your spouse, then one of the most important things to consider is your custody agreement. Whether you're awarded full, partial, or no custody of your children depends on so many different factors -- no two cases are alike. However, if you want to ensure the situation turns out as positively as it can, there are a few actions you should avoid so you don't accidentally sabotage your chances of being awarded custody.

1. Do not speak negatively about the other parent to your child.

No matter how mad you are at your soon-to-be ex-spouse, resist the urge to bring up these feelings in front of your child. Do not say anything like "your mom is a liar" or "we wouldn't be in this mess if your dad cared about us." Children are not great at keeping secrets, and your words are almost certain to make it back to the other parent. This will only inspire the other parent -- and their attorney -- to work harder to keep you from retaining custody. Plus, it does not help paint a picture of you as someone who has your child's best interests at heart.

2. Do not keep the children past the agreed-upon time or try to keep them away from the other parent.

If you agree to have the children back to your spouse by a certain time, do all that you can to stick to that agreement. Don't just keep them a few extra hours or make it hard for the other spouse to "get them back." While your intentions may be noble -- you want to spend more time with your children -- this only makes you look dishonest and irresponsible to the judge. It also makes you seem like someone who is less likely to stick to agreements, including a future custody agreement, which may result in the agreement being written with more restrictions in an attempt to make you abide.

3. Don't leave the full financial burden on the other parent.

Your ability to financially care for your children will be taken into account when determining custody. Though you may be tempted to leave financial burdens on your spouse as a way of seeking revenge or getting even, this is not wise. Neglecting to purchase necessary items for your child only paints a picture of you as an irresponsible parent who cannot financially support the kids. Continue to buy what your kids need (and some of what they want). Just keep track of the receipts so that if needed, you can prove to a judge that you've been supporting your child financially throughout the divorce process.