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Does my behavior affect my custody dispute?

When you and your spouse decide it's time to divorce, the hardest part is often coming to a fair agreement about how to handle child custody. Every parent wants the best for his or her child, but in the middle of a custody battle, it is often difficult to differentiate between what is best for a child and what is ideal for a parent. In order to create a truly beneficial custody arrangement, it is important to keep the big picture in mind and always be careful how you interact with your spouse about parenting issues.

Something that many parents fighting for custody of children do not grasp well is that how things look to the outside world, and the court in particular, is very important. Even if you don't do anything wrong as a parent, you can still hurt your case by remaining neutral or technically staying out of trouble. Remember, a court's primary concern with a custody arrangement is what is best for the child, not what is fair to a parent. If you want to build a strong case that you deserve a particular type of custody, you should be aware that how things appear is very important.

Be eager to spend time with your children, don't merely declare that you deserve to be in their lives. The way that you present yourself is crucial, so be intentional about showing up on time to appointments with your children or with the court, or dressing in an appropriate way if you have a court appearance.

While there are many other technical aspects to pursuing a fair custody arrangement, the technicalities only go so far if you're not living your life as a loving, involved parent. When it comes to the technical aspects of a custody dispute, it is very wise to enlist professional guidance from an attorney who can help you understand the relevant laws and build a personalized strategy for defending your rights and seeking the custody you deserve.

Source: The Spruce, "14 Dos and Don'ts for Winning Child Custody," Jennifer Wolf, accessed July 28, 2017

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