There is nothing more likely to cause a person's blood to boil than when an ex acts out and does something contrary to what he or she should do in shared child custody arrangements. A common and unfortunate reaction to when an ex acts poorly during a child custody dispute is taking the situation into your own hands. Before taking self-help action, you should first think about the following three reasons as to why it is probably not a good idea.
1. Let's assume, for example, your ex refuses to bring your child back to you after his or her visitation ends contrary to the court order. Assume further that you have the ability of going to your ex's home to pick up the child. Taking such action may seem reasonable; however, in situations like these, things could get out of control and you may be setting yourself up for getting arrested. Should your ex-spouse call the police and make a claim that you had done something against the law to retrieve your child, the officer may believe him or her, even if the allegation is false. A situation like this can then lead to you losing custody if there is a finding that you committed abuse against your ex.
2. The most important reason to refrain from taking self-help during a child custody dispute is that the Family Court will most likely consider your actions to be contrary to the court's orders and desire that you co-parent by resolving your problems peacefully and within the law. After all, the court's decision as to who gets primary custody and how much time a parent gets with the child will take into account the parent's ability to handle custody disputes. In other words, taking self-help action in non- emergency situations will be a red flag to the court that you do not have the maturity necessary to be a co-parent.
3. The most important reason to refrain from taking self-help during a child custody dispute is that your child will suffer more than anyone else if caught up between you and your ex fighting over who has custody, especially if the dispute becomes highly volatile and possibly physical. Countless studies have shown that your child's development will be greatly harmed by conflicts between you and your ex.
Obviously if your child is in danger of being abducted or physically harmed then nobody will ever question your efforts to protect him or her. However, where the situation does not involve an emergency you are always better off calling the police and bringing the issue promptly to the court where it will be dealt with in a lawful manner. After all, it is always better when your ex has to answer up for his or her mistakes rather than you!