What happens if, during the course of a South Carolina child custody negotiation, one parent acts in bad faith? What if the parent lies, makes false accusations or fails to reveal key information?
If you’ve been on the “receiving end” of this kind of behavior, pause before you react.
Check in with yourself-and your attorney. A divorce or child custody battle, in and of itself, can be quite upsetting. When the other parent fails to “play by the rules,” the situation can feel downright awful. Bad behavior should not stand, and you should be able to leverage the law to get it to stop and ensure that fairness and justice prevail.
Next, take smart, strategic steps to deal with the situation.
Articulate your concerns and what you fear could happen, and figure out what you’d like to happen. For instance, perhaps your spouse has hidden assets or lied to the court about being employed in order to demonstrate that they have enough resources to take care of your child. You’re worried that, if the Court grants your spouse custody, your child could be subjected to sub-standard living conditions. You want the Court to know the truth, so your child can be protected.
In general, avoid confronting the other parent by yourself.
Talk to a reputable, experienced attorney for advice. Avoid making the situation worse by being petty or “tit for tat.” When child custody and visitation disputes break down into name-calling and smearing campaigns, things can get ugly, quickly. Restrain yourself.
If at all possible, strive to understand the unmet needs driving your spouse’s behavior.
Consider the theoretical example from above: perhaps your ex-wife just needs to stay connected with her kids. She may have adopted a dangerous, dumb strategy (i.e. lying to the Court), but she’s simply trying to meet a basic human need. To the extent that you can be humane and empathetic is to the extent that you’ll likely solve your problems quicker and make things easier on everyone involved – especially on your kids.
For help understanding what to do next, call the team here at the Toussaint Law firm, PC for a free consultation. Remember, when it really matters, call us.