Last week, a 27-year-old man from South Carolina, shot and killed his girlfriend, her parents, two children and then turned on himself. According to authorities, he was enmeshed in a custody battle with his girlfriend over their 7-month-old child and felt he wasn't being allowed to visit their daughter as often as he'd like. He was also facing ajail sentence for a burglary he committed.
Earlier this year, an ex-husband's father shot and killed his former daughter-in-law and her friend, and wounded two police officers while at a Delaware county courthouse. They'd arrived there to attend a court hearing on child support payments. Law enforcement officers shot and killed the gunman as well.
Child custody battles tend to be acrimonious. A father can feel jealous about his ex-wife's new boyfriend and seek retribution by demanding physical custody. A mother may be convinced that her ex-husband's payments are low considering his salary and bonus schedule. As the stress mounts and animosity builds, the feelings can explode with the direst of consequences.
Be on Your Best Behavior
You may think that the above scenarios would never happen to you or your neighbor - but they can. If you're in a custody battle or if you are arguing about child support payments or custody, here are some things you can do to always present your best side.
- Reduce or stop drinking completely and stop using drugs. You can be subject to urine or hair tests that screen for drugs. In addition, alcohol and drugs will lower your inhibition and when that happens, you can say or do things that you'll regret later.
- Don't email or text your ex-spouse about the custody battle and don't post anything on Facebook about the dispute.
- Be as involved with your children as you can. Attend their games, meet their teachers, and take them to their favorite places, whether it's a playground or a movie.
- Take a break from Facebook and any other social media platform where you normally talk about your life. It's virtually impossible to erase what's said in online forums.
- Don't do anything to jeopardize your job.
- Don't commit a crime.
- Dress appropriately for court.
- Don't try to bias your children against your ex-spouse.
- Never resort to calling your ex-spouse names or resurrecting hurtful memories with the intent to inflict pain
If you ever feel threatened by your ex-spouse, get a restraining order and call police as soon as your ex violates its conditions.
California's child custody laws are constantly shifting to accommodate the needs of families. It is vital to retain the support and counsel of a knowledgeable child custody lawyer that will review your options and help you determine the best course of action to protect your rights and the best interests of your children.Attorney James Sansone will take the time to understand your needs and the potential challenges that may lead to dispute, presenting your options and helping to determine the best approach to ensure a favorable outcome.