girl shushing

Silence is Golden and a Great Defense

“Silence is golden.” I am sure at one time or another in your life someone has said it to you, probably a parent or grandparent. Grandparents have a phrase for just about anything and it always suits the moment or situation just right. The phrase, “silence is golden” actually comes from the full idiom, “speech is silver, but silence is golden” meaning words are important and certainly do have their place at times but sometimes it is better to say nothing at all. I, myself, try to advise my clients that it is often better to stay silent rather than speak out based upon a reaction to a situation. Regardless if you are in the right or not, it could and will most likely be used against you at some point when dealing with divorce or other family law matters, particularly child custody battles. For anyone enthralled in a court battle, especially those facing false allegations and your character is in question, silence is the go-to strategy. If you don’t say it, text it, email it, or post it you are preventing others from gathering “evidence” that you are what they are claiming you to be. It also prevents the whole he said/she said trap.

Keeping silent about your child and your visitation is oh so hard, but it is a necessity for rejected/alienated parents. Don’t play into the other parent’s hands, because what they are trying to do is draw you into a scenario where they can prove you are contributing to the problem and their reasons are valid for keeping the child away from you.

Staying silent is so much easier said than done. I know it is for me and that is evident of others if you just scroll through social media for five minutes. However, a parent fighting for their child does not have the luxury of even a little slip-up. You will be tested by the other parent because they usually know which buttons to push to set you off. Do not engage. Of course, you will want to, but keep the big picture in mind when you are tempted. Remember, playing these games is a waste of your time, energy, and resources that you could be using to regain custody or visitation with your child.

When clients are pushed to their max and tempted to respond back, I suggest to them to do three things to help bring their focus back to the child and the task at hand.

  1. Self-care. To many, this may seem selfish, but it truly isn’t. You need to take care of yourself mentally and physically and that begins with eating healthy and getting enough rest. When our bodies do not get enough sleep, we tend to be a bit easier to anger resulting in saying something we will regret later.
  2. Find a stress reliever. Many people take up running as a way to deal with stress. Others do yoga or meditation. Whatever works best for you as long as it is bettering you and a healthy alternative to keep you focused.
  3. Fight like hell! This may seem a bit contradictory to what I just said, but you need to fight as long as you do it the right way. Hiring the appropriate legal counsel to advise you and help build your case is important in all family law cases, but especially in child custody and visitation cases. Once the courts rule, it can be difficult to get modifications to the court orders. I always say it is best to do it right the first time.

Do not focus on the fear and what if, because you will get tangled in the ugly web, which is what the other parent wants. Instead, give us a call to help you focus on building your case and turn this situation around. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414 and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.