Custody cases are terrifying. Emotions run high.
But as Pennsylvania divorce attorneys, we routinely counsel our clients to stay as calm as possible. Get therapy, meditate, do whatever it takes, but control your emotions: especially your temper.
A loss of temper can come back to haunt you, even if you think nobody’s watching.
It almost seems like a no-brainer. Lose your temper in front of your ex? You can guarantee your ex has documented it, and that it will come up in court.
Lose your temper all over social media? Those posts are going to show up again.
But even losing your temper in front of family members and friends can create problems. If they take the stand the right questions can lead them to discussing these losses of temper with the court, even if they never meant to do so.
Losing your temper can mean making dumb decisions.
Like taking your child on a quick “vacation” without informing the other parent, which could open you up to charges of parental kidnapping. Or spitefully keeping the child away from your ex. Or bad mouthing your ex.
You will need a clear head to handle any aspect of a divorce, let alone a custody case. And any bad decision made in the heat of the moment can change the face of your case.
A loss of temper demonstrates a lack of control.
It doesn’t matter whether you lose your temper in front of the judge, your friends, or your ex. When you do, you paint a picture of a parent who is out of control and who may be or become abusive.
Remember, verbal abuse matters to the courts just as much as physical abuse does, and yelling at the top of your lungs can start to look a lot like verbal abuse.
Losing your temper may guarantee the case goes to trial.
Parents who can avoid trial usually get outcomes that are more livable for every member of the family. Judges are overworked, short on time, and don’t know you or your family.
But if you let your temper get out of control, you vastly reduce your chances of settling your case out of court. This means putting your fate, and your child’s fate, in the hands of a stranger.
Of course, if your ex digs in his or her heels on the matter of sole custody you might not have a choice. Still, getting nasty all but guarantees they might.
Get this, and other advice, when we handle your divorce or family law case.
We’re not telling you any of this information to scare you. Ideally, now that you have it, you’ll manage your temper beautifully and you’ll have a good outcome for your case.
This is simply the kind of information we share with our clients every day as we prepare them for their divorce cases.
If you’re getting divorced or are struggling in a custody matter, consider reaching out to us for a free consultation. We can help you put your best foot forward.