If you’re facing a divorce, fighting for child custody can be an arduous journey. You may need to pick your battles carefully and decide which aspects of child custody can be compromised with your current spouse.
Although emotions run high during this time, it’s important to take a realistic approach and take stock of your situation before you decide to fight.
We hope these tips will help you towards a successful outcome.
Don’t Assume You Will Win by Default
Factors that judges use when couples are fighting for child custody are always changing. Being the mother of the children doesn’t mean you will automatically get custody of your children. In the past, some lifestyle situations, such as recovery from drug addiction, played a major role in the court’s decision. However, some of today’s judges don’t give these circumstances much weight.
Consider Your Child’s Needs Above All
Before you begin fighting for child custody with your spouse, consider whether this choice is the best option for your children. In many cases, the judge will decide on a child custody agreement that maintains stability for the children. If your post-divorce lifestyle won’t provide a good environment for your children, fighting for child custody might not be the best choice.
A Lengthy Battle Will Result in High Legal Costs
If you and your spouse can’t come to an amicable time-sharing agreement, you will face mounting legal bills as you continue to allow the courts to decide for you. We realize you would spend every last dime if you truly believe that your children shouldn’t be with your spouse, but going broke won’t help your children either. Be prepared for the financial cost, and keep in mind the extent of your financial limits.
Plan for Rising Stress Levels
Pursuing a lengthy child custody battle will probably result in excessive amounts of stress. Recognize this fact and plan ahead for ways to relieve the stress of endless court dates and legal arguments. Taking care of yourself will help your children have a stable home environment when they’re with you. You’ll also be less likely to have an angry outburst during the legal proceedings.
Finding a Good Lawyer
Even though you could attend child custody hearings on your own, but it will help you tremendously if you work with a lawyer to walk you through the process. You’ll benefit from their experience of the process as well as the local court system. Spend some time researching potential child custody lawyers. Look for lawyers who are experienced in your local laws and who can answer your child custody questions.
Be Prepared for Intensive Scrutiny
During child custody hearings, your parenting skills and personal habits will fall under close examination. Look for ways you can make noticeable improvements in your parenting. Even if you’re a wonderful parent, there may be some minor areas that could use some improvement. For example, you could work on being more patient with your children and keeping your cool.
Gather Important Documents
Many times, the success of a child custody proceeding depends on the evidence you can provide. Keeping a log showing how much time you regularly spend with your children can be useful. You can also use other documents to show your involvement, such as notes from your child’s teachers or bank statements showing your financial support. On the flip side, also keep a log of your ex-spouse’s interaction. Try not to be petty, but to show habits and the emotions of the child.
Deciding to seek custody of your children is not a decision that you should take lightly. Careful consideration can help you make the best choice for you and your children. Attorney Cheshire has been helping families since 1988 navigate through the legal system when it comes to child custody and other family law issues. Call him today at (561) 677-8090 for a consultation to see how he can assist you with your case. Or fill out the Family Law Question on the left side of the page. He will reply to you personally.