Sometimes, people break laws they don’t even know exist when trying to defend their child custody or divorce case. Make sure you know the legalities of your actions before you do something that could negatively impact the results. You may find that something you expect to grant you an advantage will actually do more harm than good.
Setting Up an Ex Sets You Up for Failure
It happens more often than you might think: During a bitter divorce, each spouse sees the worst in one another. They both begin to fear losing what they value most, whether it be the children, the home, the bank account or even the family dog. When tensions and stakes are running high, it’s easy to feel a need to show the world – or at least the courts — just how bad you think your ex really is. It’s a compulsion that often results in imprudent stunts to not only make the other person look bad, but to capture self-generated evidence for the courts.
For instance, you’ve probably heard tales about jilted husbands and wives who hire an investigator or actor to pose as a flirtatious stranger, hoping to trick the other spouse into illicit behavior. Another sneaky scenario can involve one spouse trying to intentionally get their ex intoxicated, for the purpose of recording the event and showing it to the court to “prove” that the duped party is unfit to be a parent. Essentially, designing an incriminating situation for your ex can be equated to lying to the court.
When trying to get the upper hand in a custody or divorce case, the best advice to follow is relying on good behavior and sound legal guidance. Avoiding vindictive, entrapping solutions will save you a lot of heartache – and can keep the court in your favor.
Breaching an injunction, no matter how innocent it may seem, is another major woe. If there’s an injunction mandating that two spouses don’t communicate, a single Facebook message violates that. Even a few sips of alcohol violate a sobriety injunction. Withdrawing a small sum out of a joint account violates an injunction that bars spouses from stealing marital assets. When it comes to the law, there’s no such thing as “a little bit won’t hurt.” A little bit can hurt – big time.
This particularly applies to child custody cases. If an injunction is barring you from spending the time you want with your children, or from seeing them at all, it is very important that you follow the law while you work with a qualified lawyer to modify the legal arrangement.
This is especially trying for parents who have an injunction against them because of false allegations made by the ex or another family member. Your lawyer should be able to help you work through unjust allegations and court orders, but you must keep your actions lawful. Violating a parental rights injunction is illegal and, in some cases, sets you up to face kidnapping charges. No matter how good a parent you are, courts do not look favorably upon these indictments. Being patient and following legal counsel is the most loving thing you can do for your children if you are ever faced with this type of situation.
Tread Lightly When Using Social Media
Online rants about your former partner may feel therapeutic in the moment, but be extremely careful what you say in a public space. Commentary about somebody else’s behavior could land you in hot water if it’s deemed harassment or slander. Snooping in your ex’s social media or other online accounts is not legal, and should be avoided altogether. Similarly, it’s best to not address your ex at all on social media, lest you end up with a harassment complaint on your hands. See some of our other tips for handling social media during divorce.
Divorce is rarely simple, and trying to take matters into your own hands can only make it more complicated. To make sure you’re setting yourself up for a win in court, consult with the family lawyers at Nichols Law.