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10 Ways to Survive a Custody Case
A dispute over the custody of your children is one of the most emotional and financially costly cases in family law. Here are my top 10 suggestions to make a custody case easier to win and survive.
  1. Do what your lawyer advises.  You chose the lawyer and are paying that lawyer, follow the lawyer’s advice.  If you don’t like or trust the advice you are getting change lawyers. 
  2. Save documents.  Save the documents, save the documents, save the documents.  Documents include texts, all social media of any kind, tax returns, bank records, and credit card records.
  3. Do not EVER put anything on social media you don’t want read back to you in court. 
  4. Do not write anything bad about the children’s other parent.  That includes text messages, e-mails, and social media. It doesn’t matter if you think it is a private communication, if it is in writing, eventually it’s not private. It will eventually get used against you. This applies to adult children as well as children who are minors. 
  5. Read what your lawyer sends you and answer every question your lawyer asks.  Don’t make the lawyer repeatedly ask for information.  That costs you money unnecessarily.  The lawyer is asking the question for a reason.  Perhaps it is to see if there are facts to support a possible strategy.  Perhaps it is to see if there are problems the lawyer needs to work around in the evidence. 
  6. Keep a detailed calendar of all events.  Include when you and the other parent spends time with the children, takes them to things they are supposed to as well as when the other parent does not do what they are supposed to.  Keep that calendar where the children cannot see it or password protect it in the computer. 
  7. Behave like an angel – Let the lawyer worry about going after the other side, not cleaning up your messes.  That means – don’t’ drink and drive. Don’t use illegal drugs or abuse prescription drugs. And yes, marijuana is still illegal in Texas.
  8. Do not say anything bad about the children’s other parent in the presence or hearing of your children.  Your children are one-half the other parent.  It makes them feel bad when you talk bad about the other parent.  It makes you look bad in a custody evaluation. 
  9. Do not tell your child about the case.  You will probably be violating an order in the case; a custody evaluator and the Court will get upset with you; and will harm your own relationship with your child.  If you are in a difficult custody case someone will interview your child.  If you have been telling the child all about the divorce it will come out. 
  10. Don’t date at all during the custody case or divorce.  In Texas you are married until the judge signs the divorce decree. Some judges view that as adultery.  In addition, you, your children and the case do not need the additional emotional issues and complications during a custody case. 
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Attorney Carol Wilson has skillfully litigated and tried complex divorce, property division, and child custody cases for more than 30 years.  Carol provides expertise, focus and compassion in times of family turmoil.  Carol is a graduate of SMU, JD. 1985, became Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, 1992, and established her firm in the Turtle Creek area in 1995.  Law Office of Carol A. Wilson, PLLC, principal office in Dallas, Texas.
 


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