past behavior child custody case

This blog explores whether a person’s past may come back to haunt them in a child custody case? Many parents are very protective over their children, and that makes sense because it is just part of being a parent.  Often people wonder how the past will affect a current child custody action.  We get both sides of this when people call. We get people who have questionable items in their past and worry about how it will affect them, and we also get people who point out questionable items in the other parents past and thing it is going to have a huge effect. They tend to worry about those things more than they should.  

In this blog, we will discuss this topic a bit, and talk about how much of the past if any will have an affect on a child custody case.  Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only, and not intended as substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

How Child Custody cases are decided

When a parent starts a child custody action by filing a complaint, there are certain requests for child custody in that complaint.  The other parent has a certain period of time in which to file an answer, and then there is a period of mediation where the parents can come to a consent order.  Even after the period of mediation is over the clients can still settle the matter amicably prior to a trial.

When would my past come into play?

During a child custody trial, testimony is provided by the witnesses of both parties, for the judge to consider.  This is when the largest concerns with regard to the past come into play.  Often, a parent tries to make themselves look good by making the other parent look bad.  This is where the mudslinging, name calling, and stories about past behaviors come into play. Sometimes a parent will bring up drug or alcohol activity or past criminal convictions.

What people fail to realize however is that the judge uses a best interest of the child standard to make a decision.  It is not about punishing the parents or judging the parents, it is about doing what they think would be best for the child.

Past incidences that have no bearing on parenting or no bearing on how the child would be treated are usually completely irrelevant.  Especially if the current behavior is not a detriment to the child in any way.  If a parent can show that they are currently doing what is necessary to be the best parent that they can, their past won’t be used against them as much as some would think.

If you are in need of a family law attorney, contact us. We handle family law matters in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding areas.

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