Protecting Your Custody Rights from a Lying Ex
As much as we hope that a divorce can be negotiated and mediated in good faith, the truth is at times it can get ugly. Old grudges come to the surface, or desperation can set in and cause people to do crazy things. While things like division of assets and alimony can be contentious, when it comes to a child, parents will often go to extreme lengths to gain and keep custody of them, even so far as lying about the behavior of their former spouse in order to paint them as an unfit parent. When this happens, there is a few important things to keep in mind in order to protect yourself.
Have a trusted third party present during time with your children
Possibly the most important tip, consider inviting a close friend or family member to spend time with you and your children when you are visiting with them. Even if the court has not ordered your parenting time to be court supervised, having a third party there with you to defend you from accusations of abuse is a good way to protect yourself and your time with your children. Take pictures of your group enjoying the day’s activities, or maybe make a home movie with your children for fun!
Start a journal
As funny as it sounds, keeping a journal of your day-to-day activities can help you when questioned in court about your activities. If you believe your ex is scheming to accuse you of abuse or neglect, writing down the things you did with your children, where you did them, and other miscellaneous activities through the day can help protect you from these kinds of accusations.
Agree to drug tests
One very common accusation during Union County divorces is that of drug or substance abuse. If you are accused of this, complying with any court ordered drug test is highly recommended. Often, the testing can be done immediately and in the court house, you do not have to worry about scheduling another appointment or traveling to any far away facility. The sooner you can prove your innocence to the court, the better. You may also wish to consider volunteering for regular future drug tests, consult with your Westfield family lawyer to see if this is in your best interests.
Don’t let your ex bait you
Certain types of people will purposely “push your buttons” in order to get you to do something drastic, and probably not too well thought-out. If your ex is trying to bait you into an argument, do your best to avoid engaging with them. If your ex manages to get you on tape in a heated argument with them, the court will only see you at your worst, and none of what your ex said or did to push you into that state.
With that in mind, you may wish to record calls between you and your ex, or even better, only communicate through texts and emails. Having a record of your conversations for the court to see can be of great benefit to you.
Keep your chin up
It can be hard to be accused of things you didn’t do, especially when it can affect your relationship and time with your children. But here’s the good news, if you follow these tips, and “stick to the high road”, most family courts are experienced enough to see through the deceitful and harmful nature of your ex. Even better, if a judge sees evidence that a spouse is lying to the court in order to sway the court’s decision, they have the authority and motivation to severely limit or suspend that parent’s own custody time.
Union, NJ Divorce Attorney Secures your Family’s Future
As always, when it comes to divorce, having an experienced family law attorney to fight for your rights is highly recommended. Especially in the case of a hostile and contentious relationship, you need someone who understands the law, and knows how to protect you from false claims and aggressive behavior.
Attorney Edward S. Cooper has been helping clients and their families in and around Union County to reach effective resolutions in divorce proceedings for nearly 25 years. He is passionate about client service, immediate follow-up, and providing you with all of the information that you need to make informed decisions. To discuss your case with Mr. Cooper, contact him at 908-481-4625.