Whether you are fighting to be the primary residential parent or for weekend visits with your children – you need to be on your best behaviour. Assume that everything you do and everything you say is monitored because it potentially could be. Try and imagine the judge standing next to you each time you interact with the children or their mother. You should expect your children to tell their mother everything you tell them. Knowing this, you should be aware of things said to the children or around the children that relate to their mother.
You should also anticipate your children’s mother recording your conversations somehow. Recorded telephone conversations are common during divorce proceedings. In such cases, words spoken out of anger and frustration quickly become the rope that hangs the speaker.
Be pleasant in all written correspondence.
Don’t post anything on Facebook, Instagram or any internet platform about your ex or your divorce proceedings. This can and probably will be used against you. Any sort of negative or aggressive behaviour will be penalised by the courts. If you need to vent, find a shrink or a close friend to listen to your problems.
In recent times there has been a lot of family law cases of parents relocating their children overseas. If you are worried that this may happen to you, make sure you safeguard the children’s passports, or else put them on the Airport Watch List.
Keep in mind that the courts are always going to look for the option that will provide the best interests for the child. Some of the things the court will consider:
a) The length of time that the child has been under the actual care and control of any person other than a parent and the circumstances relevant thereto;
b) the desires of the parents as to residence-agreements reached by the parents and submitted to the court are usually presumed to be in the child’s best interest;
c) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
d) the child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
e) the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
f) any evidence or allegation of spousal abuse;
g) any evidence or allegation of child abuse on this or any other child;
h) whether either parent is required to register as a sex offender;
i) whether a parent is residing with a person who is required to register as a sex offender;
j) whether a parent has been convicted of abuse of a child;
k) whether a parent is residing with a person who has been convicted of abuse of a child