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Mistakes You Can Avoid in Your Child Custody Case


It is important to keep your emotions in check, and your eyes on the big picture when you are going through a divorce. The stress and high-stakes nature of even the friendliest of divorces can put anyone’s head in a spin. But it is critically important for you to remember certain core principles while going through your Tennessee divorce and child custody hearings. The Tennessee courts make child custody decisions based on the best interests of your children. To ensure that their needs and your own are fulfilled to the maximum, remember these critical concepts to avoid some significant missteps.

Keep Your Emotions Under Control

Emotion has its place. And it is only human to have strong feelings when it comes to our families and the well-being of our children. However, when in court you need to remember where you are and the purpose of what you are doing. The court does not know the intricacies of your inner family life. They are looking at the facts before them and trying to make decisions that serve the best interest of the child. The best way to make a good impression in the court is to be stable, respectful, and communicative. The court has seen thousands of child custody cases. Emotional outbursts or attempts to sway the court via emotional displays will not give your case the leverage you need to ensure that your child and yourself are happy at the end of the day.

Keep Any Animosity Toward the Other Parent in Check

It is vitally important to show your co-parent respect. The court is looking for parents to provide a healthy and communicative environment for the sake of the kids. Any attempts to alienate kids from their other parent will be taken seriously by the court. You may not like the custody arrangement that is set if the court is concerned that the child will be subjected to a toxic, strained, and stressful environment in your care.

Do Not Leave a Record of Anger

It is only human to have some hard feelings in the midst of a divorce. Everyone needs to vent sometimes, everyone feels angry at an ex-spouse sometimes. However, in this day and age it is extraordinarily unwise to leave a record of these venting sessions. Even private text messages or voicemails can be examined by the Judge as part of your divorce and custody hearing. (

If you leave evidence of a pattern of harmful behavior, this may impact the Judge’s decision when it comes to creating a custody agreement. The Judge could be concerned that you will alienate your child against the other parent and adjust the custody agreement to protect against the threat of alienation.

Do Not Disobey Temporary Custody Orders

If the court issues a temporary custody decree to be in place until the final agreement is decided, do not disobey the terms of the order. Non-compliance with something as new and non-permanent as a temporary order will show disregard for the court. The showing of bad behavior and tendency to not comply with court orders will be taken into consideration when the court crafts the permanent order.

Not complying with court orders can have real consequences. Always take these orders seriously.

Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers

It is so important to maintain a stable, supportive environment for your kids in the midst of a divorce. Manipulative, erratic, or combative behavior will do you no favors when seeking custody or visitation time with your kids. An experienced attorney can help you navigate a trying divorce and custody hearing, and ensure that you approach these dealings with your best foot forward. Contact the knowledgeable divorce and child custody attorneys at Fort, Holloway & Rogers today to discuss the details of your own court proceedings.


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