There are hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) of articles on the internet about divorce and child custody tactics. Many of them are useful; they can help a marriage dissolution move forward with the least amount of pain for all involved.

Then there are the “worst advice” articles. They are “wolves” in wolves’ clothing. They make no attempt to pretend it’s all about fair play. These articles appeal to a warrior parent who is, in general, impatient, ruthless and wants to win the child custody war no matter the cost to spouse or children. For anyone who loves the idea of combat divorce, here are a few methods to ponder.

Get the children to dislike your spouse

 There’s a name for this tactic in divorce court. It’s called “parental alienation,” and judges take a dim view when one parent trashes the other, squeezing the children into the middle of a no-win situation. Parents should never weaponize a child in a divorce. A parent who tries to tear a child’s affection away from the other parent will bring the wrath of the court down on the one who tries it. It’s a good way to lose all custody rights.

Coach a teen to slander the other parent on social media

Anything a parent does not want to hear read aloud in divorce court should not appear in online posts. This may be a parent’s first divorce; however, it is not the judge’s first rodeo. Not surprisingly, the judge recognizes a long list of unsavory tricks used by desperate parents. The ruse of using a child’s account to spread evil tales about a spouse on social media is so transparent, the result could negatively affect custody.

 Conceal the children in a mystery location — such as Canada

Temporary court custody orders do allow for vacations, after all. A combat-minded parent may think taking hostages is a good bargaining chip. It’s not. The judge has a name for it, but he is not allowed to use words like that in court. So he lets law enforcement use its special name for such parental behavior: Kidnapping and child abduction. Under California law, a creative child relocation can cost the sponsoring parent a maximum felony charge of up to four years in the county jail and a fine of $10,000. The felon will not have custody of the children.

 Violate the other parent’s joint custody rights

A parent who wants to jeopardize custody rights should take a pre-teen daughter in for cosmetic plastic surgery — without the other parent’s knowledge or permission — so she can look like the latest fashion model. Both the free-wheeling parent (and possibly the surgeon) are in a world of trouble. Major medical decisions made by one parent behind the other parent’s back can be a good reason to rescind joint custody.

A parent who engages in a child custody action with a Terminator-type parent needs solid representation. Educating the rash parent through mediation may be a good start. A skillful mediator can sometimes defuse a parent loaded with armament engaged and ready to fire. Often, a parent whose ego demands defeating all other claims to the children can tone down considerably by hearing the consequences, not the least of which are financial, involved in lengthy court battles to win custody.