No one gets married intending to get divorced. But, unfortunately, divorces happen. If you find yourself in the midst of a divorce and you have children, you will have to deal with the issue of child custody.
According to statistics, 2.7 people in every 1,000 marriages end in divorce nowadays. While that number might seem small, it’s still pretty significant when you think about all the children who will be between their parents’ divorce. If you find yourself in this position, there are some things you can do to make the process go more smoothly.
Here are six tips to help you prepare for a custody battle:
1. Choose Your Attorney Carefully
Some people manage to go through their divorce without hiring a lawyer. However, when you have kids, it’s a good idea to have someone on your side who knows the law. Child custody can be a complicated legal matter, and you want to make sure you have someone who can help you navigate the system.
Look for an attorney handling custody cases. They should be able to give you an idea of what to expect and help you develop a strategy. The right lawyer will have years of experience and know the ins and outs of child custody law.
Your attorney can help you increase your chances of getting the custody arrangement you want. If you fail to receive full custody, they can fight for your rights as a parent and help you obtain visitation rights.
2. Research the Child Custody Laws in Your State
Every state has different child custody laws, so you must familiarize yourself with the laws in your state. Child custody law is constantly evolving, so you must keep up-to-date on any changes that might affect your case.
For example, some states now require the child’s best interest to rule the child custody decisions. This means the court will consider the child’s needs above everything else when deciding who gets custody.
If you want to have a chance at winning child custody, you need to know the laws in your state. You can prepare for what’s to come and build a strong case.
3. Gather Evidence
When it comes to child custody cases, evidence is everything. You will need to prove you are the better parent to the court.
Some of the evidence you can use to prove your case include:
- financial records showing that you can support your child
- medical documents proving that you are in good health
- character references from friends or family members
- emails, texts, or social media messages showing
It’s also a good idea to keep a journal documenting your child’s activities and parenting time. You can use this as evidence to show that you are an active and involved parent.
4. Be Willing to Compromise
In many child custody cases, the parents are not able to come to an agreement. When this happens, the case will go to trial, and a judge will decide for you.
If you want to avoid going to trial, you need to be willing to compromise. This means you might have to give up some of the things you want to reach an agreement on.
For example, you might have to agree to a visitation schedule that’s not ideal for you. Or, you might have to let the other parent have primary custody. Failure to comprise will only make the process longer and more complex.
5. Care For Yourself During The Process
During this emotionally charged time, take care of yourself physically and mentally. If you’re not taking care of yourself, it will be difficult (if not impossible) for you to take care of your children the way they deserve to be taken care of. This means eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and surrounding yourself with a supportive network of family and friends who will be there when things get tough.
This is also an excellent opportunity to seek out therapy or counseling. A therapist can help you deal with your emotions and give you coping strategies to get through this tough time. They can also help you develop a parenting plan that will work for you and your child.
6. Learn Proper Court Etiquette
When you go to court, proper etiquette is a must. If you don’t follow proper etiquette in court, the court can hold you liable in contempt of court, jeopardizing your child custody case.
Some things to keep in mind when you’re in court are as follows:
- Dress conservatively and avoid anything that could be considered disruptive or disrespectful.
- Be on time for all court appearances.
- Listen to the judge and follow their instructions.
- Don’t speak out of turn.
- Address the judge as “Your Honor.”
You can ask your attorney for other tips on behaving in court. This will allow you to focus on your child custody case and give it the attention it deserves.
Child custody cases are never easy, but they don’t have to be impossible. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can improve your chances of winning child custody. These tips will help you get started on the right foot.