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Keep your kids uninvolved when dealing with a custody battle

The emotions that well up during a divorce can often be overwhelming. Many people look for an outlet anywhere they can find one. Sometimes, that outlet is the minor children from the marriage. For example, if your ex is refusing to pay child support but still demanding visitation, you might feel like the children should know that the other parent is acting like a deadbeat.

However, even if what you say is true, talking poorly about your ex to your children could actually hurt your custody case. Similarly, putting your children in the middle of your fights, arguing in front of them or forcing them to act as messengers can all cause strain for your children that they don't need in addition to the stress of your divorce.

You should stay focused on the best interests of the children

You may feel like your divorce will last forever, but eventually it will be behind you and you will move on in life. Your children, however, we suffer the ill effects of a hostile divorce for many years to come. Divorce can have a profound emotional, social and even physical impact on your children.

Your first priority in every decision should be mitigating the damage of the divorce causes. Involving your children in your custody dispute by talking poorly about your ex is not putting their needs first. You could damage their relationship with the other parent, which could be more harmful than you imagine.

The courts frown on parents who speak poorly of one another to the kids

California courts are dedicated to focusing on the best interests of the children in any divorce proceedings. Typically, this means looking carefully at the relationship with each parent and the child and doing everything they can to support both relationships.

Exceptions to that might include situations with substance abuse, child abuse, spousal abuse or significant neglect. Otherwise, the courts are going to want to split things evenly between parents to protect the relationships of both parents with the children.

The courts will consider claims of alienation, which means withholding custody from the other parent, as well as intentionally talking negatively about your spouse to the children and therefore undermining the relationship. Consistently doing that could actually lead to the courts denying you fully shared custody. No matter how frustrated you may feel, you should always focus on doing what your kids need instead of what makes you feel better in the moment.

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