Child custody cases are handled primarily by family court. During a custody battle both parents are trying to keep their child. Only one parent will win. This article will help you to improve your chances of making sure you are the one who wins physical custody. As recently divorced mother, I can assure you the effectiveness of the following tips. I have been through it.
No parent wants to let their child go to the other parent.
This really is important to understand. No matter how much you once loved each other your ex will do anything and everything in their power to get physical custody of your child. People tend to get down right nasty and even mean when it comes to their children. Consider your ex your enemy and do not trust them to give you a good name or a chance of winning. They will be fighting for themselves and will likely try to make you look like the bad parent.
Get a lawyer.
Even if your child already lives with you. Even if it is clear that you are more able to provide and are the better parent you will still need to have a lawyer. A lawyer knows the laws better than you do. The judge will value and consider your lawyers opinion on the circumstances. To a judge a lawyers word is solid, true. A parent will say anything they can to win but if it comes from the lawyers mouth the judge will give it credit.
Get CPS involved.
If the other parent is neglectful, abusive or truly unstable you can enlist in the help of child protective services to prove it. If you go to the court hearing saying that the other parent is any of the above but have not contacted CPS the judge will wonder why. Your allegations will not be taken as seriously because you failed to report the allegations and concerns.
It’s a nerve wracking experience no doubt but keeping calm is one of the best things you can do. Family court is not the place for outbursts or angry words. You have to show that you are a calm, reasonable, logical person and parent. The judge will be watching your actions closely to determine your temperament and how you are handling the situation. If your ex is prone to temper let it be so. Let the judge see how he/she reacts angrily. Your calmness will improve your chances of winning physical custody.
Prove that you can provide.
Your child will almost definitely have a law guardian. It is a great idea to have a meeting with your lawyer, and your child’s law guardian at your home. Show them around. Show them your child’s bedroom, and that you have plenty of food, clothing, etc. for the child. Make them aware of your income. Prove to them that you can financially support your child. Prove that your home is a happy, healthy and safe environment.
Show your involvement in your child’s life.
Are you the parent who has always attended school meetings, field trips, etc? Let it be known. Are you the one who has always taken your child to the doctor or dentist? Explain to the lawyer and law guardian that you are the primary caregiver. Let them know that its you who takes your child to appointments, sports practice, etc. Are you the one who makes sure your child is fed, bathed, and gets to school each day? The parent who has the most involvement in their child’s daily life will likely be the one who wins physical custody.