A battle for a child’s custody is both a serious and a delicate matter. Naturally, you will want to win this battle, either you are the mother or the father of the child/ children – obviously, depending on the case; some parents might not want custody at all.
But, in the case both parents want custody over their child, there are some things they should know before presenting themselves to court. In short, there are things that they should do and things that they definitely shouldn’t do.
One wrong step and you may lose this battle. Obviously, the first thing you have to do is to look for experienced child custody lawyers so that you are able to build a strong case and, eventually, win child custody. Hiring a pro might be expensive, but because of their experience in child custody battles, you’ll have better chances of winning in court. Hiring a child custody lawyer is also a cost-effective investment as you’ll be able to save time and money throughout the entire child custody case.
Let’s see exactly which the dos and don’ts for winning child custody are.
Willingness to work with your ex. There have been some cases of parents that have actually lost custody over their child because they showed that they are not willing to collaborate with their ex.
You might not be in good terms with your ex, but this doesn’t mean that you should no longer talk to them or bad mouth them in front of other people. On the contrary, you should remain civil and maintain communication to guarantee the child’s welfare. Regardless of the reason why the relationship doesn’t work, the two of you should work hand-in-hand for the sake of the child.
So, it doesn’t matter whether you hate your ex or not, it is important that you collaborate with them and show the court that what you want is a better life for your child, in which both parents are present and actively involved. As adults, you should set aside your differences and strive to work together in order to look for the child.
Exercise your parental rights. During the case, you might be granted visitation rights with your kids. Naturally, you’ll want to take advantage of this, making sure to spend as much time with them as possible.
When coming up with visitation schedules, make sure that you work closely with your ex. Both of you should make sure that the visitation schedule fit each of your lifestyles. This will enable the two of you to continue to foster a healthy relationship with the child while still having enough time and energy to accomplish individual responsibilities. Letting your child see you often will also create a positive impression and help them effectively manage the results of the divorce.
In-home custody evaluation. For example, your ex may try to present the court with a negative impression of your home life. In this respect, it is important – and can prove very helpful – that you request an in-home custody evaluation, as it will further help your case and make it stronger.
Court’s perception is everything. One of the most important dos is that you are always aware of the fact that it matters more if the court believes that what you are saying is true. In short, do your best to present yourself as an involved, competent, and loving parent. If you’re genuinely concerned about your child’s welfare, this task should come naturally and easily for you.
Don’t talk negatively about your ex. This applies especially when you are in front of your kids. You should keep your feelings and opinions about your former partner to yourself. You should never make bad comments about your ex in front of your child or let your child think that your ex is the reason why the relationship didn’t work. As mentioned, child custody requires two parties to work together. Putting the blame on your partner isn’t the best way to do it.
Don’t arrive late for visits or pickups. Naturally, if you arrive late at a pickup or a visitation with a child, this may create a rather negative impression of your commitment over your child. Steer away from this direction by changing your schedule to spend time with your child more. Remember, your relationship with your ex just ended, not your responsibility to your child.
Don’t reschedule the time you should spend with your kids. If you are given parenting time, it is very important that you take advantage of it fully. In short, rescheduling too often can make you look like you are filling for custody out of spite.
Don’t involve the children in the case. Even though you may be tempted to share what’s happening with them, don’t do so. It is better if you don’t place this burden on their shoulders and make them feel like nothing bad is happening.
Don’t come up with negative stories. You may want to come up with some negative stories about your ex or such, in order to win custody. Such a story may be successful but, if it backfires, it is considered as a lie in court and will be used against you.
As you’ve seen, the dos and don’ts are quite basic. However, parents forget most, if not all of them every single time, and make desperate attempts to win custody over their children.
Basically, if you are part of such a case, it is better if you act with professionalism and maturity. After all, keep in mind that your children will be faced with the end result of this case – so, you’d want to be the better parent, in any aspect!