Divorces are seldom easy, and divorcing parents sometimes have very different ideas about how important issues surrounding the children should be settled.

When a custody battle is looming, you want to make sure that you’re doing everything right. Equally important, however, is making sure that you do nothing wrong. Here are some of the biggest mistakes that divorcing parents can make during this time:

1. Talking negatively about the other parent to the children

Parental alienation is a syndrome where one parent denigrates the other to the children in overt and covert ways in order to damage the relationship between the targeted parent and the kids. Courts frown heavily on anything that resembles that kind of behavior, and it can play into any custody decisions.

2. Discussing the custody battle, the court or the other parent on social media

Your social media is nowhere nearly as secure as you may believe, no matter how carefully you’ve curated your friends and followers or locked down your privacy settings. Never post anything that you don’t want to hear read out loud in a custody hearing.

3. Refusing to negotiate in good faith or consider a compromise

The court always considers the ability of both parents to work together. If you give the impression that you’re openly hostile to co-parenting under any circumstances without sufficient justification, that will not play well with the court.

4. Letting your emotions take over and overindulging in your vices

A divorce and a custody battle can be incredibly stressful, and some people turn to their vices when they’re trying to cope. However, allowing yourself to drink, abuse prescription or street drugs or gamble can create major problems. Those things often come out in court, and that can lead the judge to decide that you cannot provide a stable home.

The parent-child relationship you have is precious, and a divorce shouldn’t be allowed to break that apart. Learn more about your legal options and how to fight for your parental rights in court.

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