Whole heartedly, you’re most likely devoted to winning child custody. But are you aware of what you need to do—and not do—to accomplish that? The following do’s and don’ts are going to help you present yourself to the court in the best possible way and aid you in winning your child custody case.
What to Do To Win Child Custody
As for winning your custody case, you need to be sure that you prove you’re willing to work alongside your ex while also proving that the children would benefit from you having custody of them. Here is a brief summary of things that are going to improve your possibility of winning custody.
Working With Your Ex
When seeking to win custody, it’s important to show you’re willing to work alongside your ex. Many parents have in fact lost child custody because they demonstrated a reluctance to work with the other parent.
- Don’t forget that whereas you may dislike your ex, they are a part of your children’s lives, and you need to prove to the family court you’re willing to work collaboratively for your children’s benefit.
Utilize Your Parental Rights
Make sure you utilize your parental rights particularly if you’ve been awarded visitation rights with your children. Spend as much time with them as possible, and be sure that you’re doing routine, day to day things—comprising schoolwork and housework —and not only the fun things such as movies, Top Golf, go cart racing, and dining out. Additionally, prove that you are ready to do the less than alluring facets of parenting.
Ask For An In-Home Custody Assessment
When you’re concerned that your ex is going to try to present a negative perception of your home life, ask for an in-home custody assessment. This assessment can be greatly helpful in your desire to win custody particularly if things go well. Nevertheless, it’s always beneficial to have an unbiased party assess your home life, your skills as a parent and create a report for the court.
Recognize Perception Is Everything
One of the most difficult things to acknowledge in custody battles is the fact that it really doesn’t matter if what gets said about you is the truth or not; what matters is if the court deems those things to be true. Do everything possible for presenting yourself to the court as a capable, engaged, and loving parent.
- This comprises of arriving on time, dressing appropriately for court, and showing proper courtroom etiquette in the presence of the judge. Don’t forget, your impression is everything.
Find Out About Family Law
Get yourself familiar with the child custody laws in your state so that you will know in beforehand what you should expect. For example, a lot of the time, each of the parents have equal rights to the custody of the children when they separated.
Accordingly, courts typically award joint custody when each of the parents are able to carry out their parenting responsibilities. However, when one of the parents wishes for sole custody, that parent is required to be able to prove why joint custody isn’t in the children’s’ best interest.
In circumstances where you truly believe your children would be at risk with the other parent—for instance, since your ex has a history of domestic violence—you should thoroughly document your interactions with your ex, in addition their interactions with the children. Be mindful, though, the other parent might have similar feelings about you and might be preparing comparable documentation for the court.
Locate an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
Even if you’re not sure you can afford a lawyer, schedule a free consultation to go over your options. You can also seek for free legal clinics around your area.
- Try getting a hold of a chapter from your local American Bar Association or ask the Legal Aid Society for help.
What Not to Do To Win Child Custody
Getting awarded custody of your children when you and your ex separate, is not an simple task, particularly since most courts prefer some type of shared or joint custody. However, parents could derail their possibility of custody if they aren’t careful. Here is a summary of things you should attempt to avoid doing when trying to win child custody.
Speak Negatively About Your Ex
As difficult as it may be, try not to speak negatively about your ex—especially in front of, or to your children. Instead, maybe keep your view and emotions about your ex to yourself. Even if your children ask you hard questions, try and keep it positive when possible. Whereas you should be honest, do your best to stay away from verbally attacking your ex when asked. Instead, vent your aggravations to a trustworthy friend.
Show Up Late for Visits or Pick-ups
Small things such as showing up late may be used to create a negative perception of your devotion as a parent. Reason being, you should be on time when you need to pick-up your children or visiting with them. Showing up on time also conveys to your children that they are priority number one.
- Don’t forget, divorce or separation is highly difficult on children. So, you want to make sure you show them every chance you get that they are a priority.
Reschedule Your Visits With the Children
If you want to get custody, don’t make a routine of rescheduling time with your children. Continually rescheduling your parenting time might make the court see that you’re only filing for custody in retaliation—not because you actually want custody.
Be sure you are there when you say you are going to be there, so your ex can’t show a recorded pattern to the court that communicates a negative aspect on you. In addition, rescheduling on your children upsets them.
Abuse Alcohol and/or Drugs
Don’t abuse alcohol and/or drugs, particularly when you are with your children. Aside from providing more evidence for your ex, making dumb decisions ends up hurting your children in doing so. Additionally, it’s just another thing that can be documented and used unfavorably towards you.
Make sure there’s not even the inkling that you’re doing something that is going to put your children in danger. Being a responsible parent means making good decisions that protects your children’ overall well-being.
Decline to Follow Requests From the Court
When you want to get custody, it’s vital to honor every petition the court makes to you. Don’t decline to do anything the court asks of you. This is the time to prove to the courts how devoted you are. When they necessitate that to take parenting courses or go to counseling, do so without hesitation.
- Regard the court’s requests as chance to prove how far you’re willing to go for your children.
Share Details With the Children
It may be alluring to share details of your case with your children, but it’s vital to let them be children now and not put the weight of adult maters on their shoulders. As a result, stay away from talking to your children about what is occurring including matters your ex has done or shared. Whereas you are able to briefly answer their questions truthfully, you should avoid regularly giving them updates.
Invent Negative Stories
When trying to gain custody, don’t makeup negative rumors about your ex. Avoid coming up with unsubstantiated allegations of abuse or overstate your ex’s inadequacies in order to get custody. Any lies you state are going to come back and be used towards you in court. Those stories also will probably hinder your chances of getting custody. Be sure everything you share is truthful and can be proved.
In a lot of states, child custody laws necessitate that judges consider the children’s best interests when deciding on custody. Consequently, if you are trying to get custody, you should be sure all the information you present to court establishes that granting you custody is going to be best for your children.
Wolf, J. (n.d.). How to win you child custody court case. Retrieved July 02, 2021, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/dos-and-donts-for-winning-child-custody-2998180