5 BIG Mistakes You Shouldn’t Make During a Child Custody Battle

Little daughter closing dads eyes with hands and laughing after child custody caseA child custody battle can be a huge headache, especially when the stakes are so high. Fighting for the chance to be with your child or children can dredge up a lot of unpleasant issues and emotions; those emotions can spur decisions that can negatively impact child custody proceedings. To avoid that situation, read through this list of common mistakes that parents often make that lessens their chance for success.

Not considering the ramifications of a social media post

Don’t fall into the trap and believe that social media posts have nothing to do with a child custody battle. The truth is that a post, even on a social media site that deletes posts, are forever and can impact a case negatively. Social media profiles can be hacked and screen shots taken (even by friends who you trust); for this reason, always think before you post. Avoid bashing the other parent online, posting non-flattering pictures that shows negative behavior, or ranting about issues that are key to the child custody case.

Disregarding court orders

At the initiation of proceedings, the judge typically gives certain orders, such as a temporary custody schedule, to be observed throughout proceedings. Follow these orders as closely as possible; frequent or major violations of court orders may be taken into account by the judge as he or she makes decisions. With regard to the temporary custody schedule, these agreements are fairly hard to get altered; make sure the agreement is a schedule that can be followed before you sign on the bottom line.

Not hiring an expert

A successful custody proceeding involves multiple steps and expertise. Don’t try to navigate through the process alone. Hire a local, experienced family law lawyer that’s guided other parents through custody proceedings successfully. Use these tips for an efficient and successful first visit with the lawyer and be prepared to provide additional information throughout the process.

Behaving badly in front of the kids

Everything you do during a child custody battle can have ramifications on proceedings: how you act when you pick-up or drop off the kids, the things you say to the other parent, how often you leave the kids when they are in your care, what you say on the phone in front of them. Even when the other parent is behaving badly, make sure your actions and words are beyond reproach and cannot be used against you. Make note of any risky or bad behavior that the other parent exhibits.

Stopping child support payments

“If I can’t see my kid, I’m not paying child support!” It’s a common mistake that many parents make—but can have serious ramifications when the custody of the child is in question. NEVER, never stop making child support payments without consulting your lawyer, even if the other parent is not following the temporary custody schedule and you are not getting a chance to visit your kids. Most courts in Wisconsin hold you accountable for child support even if you are not seeing the child. If you don’t make child support payments, you can land in legal hot water and may even be arrested.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney. 

5 Important Documents to Retain after a Car Accident

car accident where woman is being assisted by emergency respondersAfter a car accident, even a minor fender bender, it can seem like there is a mountain of paperwork to get through. It can be tempting to toss all that paperwork and put the whole ordeal behind you. If thinking of contacting a lawyer—-or if there is a slim possibility you might contact a lawyer about the car accident—resist the urge to get rid of all the bills and reports. Keep a file of all documentation, which can be invaluable from the first meeting with your lawyer until the case is settled.

Police Report

If the police were called to the scene of the accident (which should be done as an essential step after a car accident), a police report is usually filed. The police report is filled with important information, such as a diagram of the accident and facts related to each driver.

Medical Bills

All medical bills should be kept from applicable agencies, including the ambulance, chiropractor, emergency room (if applicable), doctor visits, specialist, psychiatrist (if needed) and any other invoices related to the driver’s well-being after the accident. Many injuries do not become obvious for several days after the accident; a visit to a general practitioner should be made shortly after the accident to document and treat any accident-related issues.

Photographs

After an accident, a driver should not move vehicles until the police arrive (or if the situation is not safe). If well enough to move, take the opportunity to take pictures of the accident scene, vehicle damage, and physical injuries. The insurance company may also take photos of the damage and may provide additional photos upon request.

Insurance Documents

Typically, there are two or more additional insurance companies involved in an accident; each insurance company usually takes statements from each driver involved. A lawyer may advise that no statement be given (consult the lawyer before giving a statement to any party), but will need all statements collected by the companies involved.

Citations

Traffic tickets are not issues in every car accident, but any tickets issued are legally relevant and necessary. Be honest and forthcoming in all communications with the lawyer; once retained, all conversations are confidential. These guidelines, and the documentation, are essential for future legal proceedings.

The materials on this website are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. These materials are intended, but not promised or guaranteed to be current, complete, or up-to-date and should in no way be taken as an indication of future results. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and the receipt does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship between sender and receiver. You should not act or rely on any information contained in this website without first seeking the advice of an attorney.