For divorcing parents, there is nothing that takes a higher priority in the divorce than the well-being of their children. Many parents, though, make serious mistakes in Pittsburgh child custody cases, either by their actions or inactions. For any parent who wants to ensure the best possible outcome for their child custody matter, they should keep in mind the following factors:

1. Have you addressed any substance abuse issues? For parents involved in child custody disputes, substance abuse that is not addressed will be a heavily disfavorable factor for the parent who has the issue. Even if the substance abuse is not a serious problem, it is all too easy for a court to use substance abuse as a determining factor in awarding primary custody to the other parent.

2. Do you leave an electronic trail of negative evidence about yourself? If you have a habit of sending angry text messages or e-mails, this is the time to stop. These messages can turn up in a custody dispute and make you look very bad. This includes videos, pictures and voicemail messages.

3. Do you disparage the other parent? If so, it is a very negative message to send to your children. It is also going to hurt your case in a child custody dispute. In order to demonstrate to the judge that you are always putting your children’s interests first, you must show that you value the children’s relationship with their other parent, and that you are able to show respect to your former partner regarding their role as a parent.

In the next post, we will look at additional factors to keep in mind in a child custody case.

Source: Huffington Post “How To Lose Child Custody,” Jacqueline Harounian, Dec. 12, 2011