Girl hugging her mother

Not so long ago, mothers were more likely to win sole custody of their children in a custody battle. As time and culture has progressed, where both parents are opting to work outside of the home, the chance for custody to be granted to either parent has significantly increased.

According to an article published by The New York Times, there are now “2.2 million divorced women in the United States who do not have primary physical custody of their children, and an estimated 50 percent of fathers who seek such custody in a disputed divorce are granted it.” This number shows that favor is no longer given to mothers alone, but to the parent who is most involved in their children’s lives.

Here is what you need to avoid if you want to keep custody of your kids:  

1. You are not the primary caretaker. In most households, one parent is more responsible for taking care of the primary needs of their children. The parent who is most involved in their child’s daily life is the parent most likely to have the edge in a custody case.

2. You belittle the other parent. Having both parents present in a child’s life is extremely important, so judges will take into careful consideration the way both parents treat each other. If you are constantly bad-talking, putting down, or negatively influencing your child’s relationship with the other parent, you will be reprimanded.

3. You are “unfit” to be a parent.  If you casually participate in consuming alcohol or drugs, you will have a difficult time winning custody. Judges take allegations of substance abuse seriously and will investigate. If you struggle with any form of substance abuse, know that the fate of child custody hangs in the balance.

4. You show a lack of control. It is crucial to act with good judgment and self-control if you want to win custody of your child. If you are a parent who consistently flies off the handle and cannot control your anger, you are at a disadvantage. An angry outburst in a courtroom will be remembered, just as an act of self-control and restraint will.

5. You leave a paper trail that will negatively affect your case. With the technological advancements we have today, it’s very easy for a parent to submit evidence against the other parent that may potentially paint them in a bad light.

6. You fail to follow your lawyer’s advice. Going through a hard divorce or a custody proceeding is very stressful. With the complicated details that encapsulate a child custody case, it’s critical to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney.