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Divorce is fairly common. In fact, a divorce occurs in America almost once every 36 seconds. And a large number of those divorces involve children, which can make for some difficult child custody disputes. Whether you’re preparing for a divorce or you’ve already contacted child custody lawyers, here’s exactly what not to do during a child custody dispute.

Move in With a New Partner
A judge will take several factors into consideration when making a decision about a child’s custody. But a child’s safety and best interests will always be first and foremost to the court. When you or your spouse move in with someone else, the judge must take that into consideration. A live-in partner’s criminal history, medical history, and job history will all play an important role in their custody decision. If you rush to move in with another person, you could prolong the custody process.

Lie
Above all else, don’t lie. Lying to a divorce attorney, custody lawyers, and a judge is only going to backfire. It’s easy to want to portray the best version of yourself, but you absolutely shouldn’t do that by lying. The vast majority of judges and attorneys will get to the bottom of your lie eventually, and it could very well cost you custody of your child.

Disappear
How can you care for a child if you’re not present for any of their custody hearings? Divorce is a long process, but it requires you to be involved every step of the way. And determining the future of your child or children is an extremely important step. If you can’t be contacted or you’re not present for any custody hearings, there’s almost no chance you’ll be considered for primary custody.

Determining the custody of a child is a decision that requires a significant amount of deliberation and observation. Only after determining whether either parent serves a child’s best interests can a custody lawyer leave the case closed. If you’re in the midst of a divorce and you’re wondering how to help you chances at custody, make sure you avoid the things listed above.