Custody disputes can cause upheaval to every aspect of your life, which is why it's important for you to try and avoid them, if at all possible. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible to avoid custody disputes, especially when the other party is unwilling to negotiate or play fairly. If you find yourself in a custody dispute, the first thing you need to do is hire an attorney. Once you have legal representation, you'll need to take steps to avoid exacerbating the situation. Here are four things you should avoid while dealing with a custody dispute.
Change Your Phone Number
If your ex is harassing you, you may think that changing your phone number is the best option. Unfortunately, changing your phone number during a custody dispute can give your ex ammunition to use against you, especially if you do it without seeking legal advice first. If the harassment becomes too much to bear, notify your attorney as soon as possible. They can help you go through the proper channels to legally change your phone number.
Make Changes to Lifestyle
If you're involved in a custody dispute, you will want to avoid making drastic changes to your lifestyle. This would include changing residences, or starting a new job. Changing residences or starting a new job can be used to show a lack of stability, which can harm you during a custody dispute. It's also important that you avoid making changes to the activities that your children participate in on a regular basis.
Participate in Altercations
If your ex has become hostile during the dispute, they may try to instigate altercations; either physical or verbal. If that happens, you need to avoid participation. When your ex begins to escalate situations into verbal altercations, remain calm. If your ex escalates the situation towards a physical altercation, find a safe place to go and contact law enforcement immediately. Once you've been safely removed from the situation, report the incident to your attorney.
Begin New Relationships
Finally, if you've found yourself in the middle of a custody dispute, don't use this time to begin a new relationship. Your ex can use any new relationship against you during the dispute. Not only that, but starting a new relationship during a custody dispute can cause emotional distress for your children. Instead, wait until the dispute is settled to begin new relationships. However, your ex should also refrain from beginning a new relationship during a custody dispute. If your ex does use this time to begin a new relationship, it's important that you notify your custody attorney.