5 Custody Mistakes that Fathers Should Avoid

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DadsRights.org founder Anne P. Mitchell has been widely quoted, along with other attorneys, in an article on Fatherly.com about the “5 Custody-Battle Mistakes Fathers Need to Avoid”. It’s a great article (and not just because our own founder is in it)!


As one of the first fathers’ rights attorneys in the country, Ms. Mitchell has deep insight into how the family law system works – and doesn’t work – for fathers, and part of her private practice involved a great deal of coaching of her clients about not only what to do, but what not to do, because a lot of this stuff isn’t just not intuitive, but it’s actually counter-intuitive. (For example, men often believe that if they can make mom look bad in court, it will go better for themselves, however more often than not it just makes themselves look bad, and the court will hold it against dad!)

In the Fatherly article, the attorneys provide advice specifically for dads in regards to avoiding the pitfalls – and, it has to be said, places where they may be shooting themselves in the foot – of which many fathers going through the family law system are unaware.

For example, having your kids be the messenger between both parents. “[U]sing the kids as go-betweens can land you in hot water. Having the kids deliver messages, paperwork, or other sensitive items is not only selfish, it shows poor judgment. “I’ve seen things where parents have given children child support checks to bring to the other spouse,” says Lisa Helfend Meyer. “That’s really bad. A kid doesn’t want to say, ‘Here, Mom, here’s your child support check.'”

The other four pitfalls include trying to turn the kids against mom (just don’t do it!); poor choices in terms of the use of social media; how you behave in public; and trying to make the other parent look bad in court.

“Just remember: Everything in a divorce is exaggerated. So what is acceptable behavior for people who aren’t divorced can become verboten in a divorce,” explains Meyer.

For those of you not familiar with the site Fatherly.com, they describe themselves as “the leading digital media brand for dads. Our mission is to empower men to raise great kids and lead more fulfilling adult lives. From original video series and deep dive reports to podcasts and events, Fatherly offers original reporting, expert parenting advice, and hard-won insights into a challenging, but profoundly rewarding stage of life.”

You can read the full article on Fatherly here.

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