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Custody mistakes for parents to avoid

For Kentucky estranged parents, a divorce and associated child custody hearings can be emotional events. However, it is important for a parent to avoid making unforced errors such as talking about the case to a friend or otherwise being transparent about his or her legal strategy. Ideally, the only person parents will talk to during a child custody case is their lawyer.

At no time should emotions play a role in a parent's decision-making process. It is possible that other family members may urge a parent to ask for more child support or more parenting time. However, there is no reason to turn a potentially amicable hearing into a contentious event. Furthermore, parents should not make a child custody hearing a referendum on how a former spouse was as a partner.

In some cases, that may simply give the judge a reason to award custody to that other parent. It is also rarely a good idea to suggest that a child would want or need one parent over the other. The law encourages both parents to have a relationship with their children. Suggesting otherwise may result in an outcome to a child custody case that is less than ideal for the parent seeking full or primary custody.

Parents who are involved in a child custody dispute may wish to consult with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to help guide parents through the child custody process, which may reduce the odds of making mistakes that could lead to less parenting time or custody rights. In many cases, both parents will be involved in a child's life, and those seeking custody may wish to acknowledge this in an effort to obtain a favorable ruling from a judge.

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