A child custody battle can be one of the most stressful, yet important things you will ever engage in. After all, it’s your child’s well-being on the line.
Child custody disputes are rarely easy. There’s no magical formula for how to win a child custody case, but there are ways to improve your odds.
Read on for the top 6 tips to win a child custody battle.
1. Focus on the Best Interest of Your Child
This may seem obvious, but unfortunately to many parents, it’s not.
Here’s why: It’s easy to focus on “winning” a custody case. If you do that, then you’re losing sight of the most important thing: your children and what’s best for them.
Even at a very young age children are able to feel the stress that comes into play during a separation and child custody case. This can cause anxiety and negative changes in mood and behavior.
Older children worry about things like the possibility of having to move, changing schools, and leaving their friends behind. They often worry that things are their fault, or that one or both parents will no longer love them.
During this emotionally stressful time, it’s important to keep the focus on your child’s best interest. Offer them the emotional support and reassurance that they need.
When working through the details of a child custody agreement keep in mind that it’s in your child’s best interest to have both parents actively involved in their life. That is, unless one of the parents is unfit and poses a threat of physical or emotional harm to your child. If that’s not the case, try to come to an amicable compromise regarding custody and visitation schedules that allows children to spend quality time with both parents.
2. Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney
When you’re facing something as serious as a custody battle, it’s crucial that you get in touch with an attorney quickly.
They know the law, have tried many cases just like yours, and can play both protector and peacemaker while working for the best-case outcome. Having an attorney guide you from the start can help you from making costly mistakes.
If you’re a woman, you may assume that you’ll have an easier time getting the custody arrangement you want because the courts favor mothers. It’s not that simple.
Similarly, if you’re a father, you may have heard horror stories. You may believe that the court is eager to take away your children because family law judges dislike men.
Neither party should assume that things will play out a certain way based on those false beliefs. The courts favor child custody and visitation agreements that ensure both parents are involved in their children’s lives.
An attorney can tell you what is or isn’t a realistic expectation. For starters, one parent getting 100% custody rarely happens, so it’s good to adjust your expectations accordingly. A lawyer will guide you through the process of creating a parenting agreement and a fair visitation schedule.
If you do have any concerns about the well-being of your children hiring an attorney is of particular importance. They will advocate for what’s best for your child, making their safety a priority.
3. Work Together to Keep Things From Getting Ugly
One of the biggest problems with child custody cases is that they can quickly become ugly. Parents often use this as an opportunity to take out frustrations regarding their relationship with each other, rather than keeping the focus on their kids.
If you want to protect your interests and those of your child, you need to do your best to make peace and be civil. Try to separate from your personal feelings regarding your ex and keep any unresolved issues between the two of you out of your custody case. Focus only on issues that will have a direct impact on your child.
Regardless of where the two of you stand, it is always better to have an out of court settlement. You have more control over getting the best outcome for your child when your co-parenting relationship is collaborative, rather than combative.
If you’re unable to reach an agreement together meditation services are available to help work through the details before going to court becomes necessary. Your attorney can help make these arrangements.
4. Address Issues That Could Work Against You
If you’re facing a child custody battle, you can expect every aspect of your life to be put under a microscope. Because of this, you need to understand what aspects of your life may not play to your advantage in court.
An attorney can help evaluate your personal circumstances and offer advice to give you the best chances of a favorable outcome. If any potential issues are uncovered, your attorney will advise you on what you can do to minimize the impact those things could have on your custody case.
Also, keep in mind that perception is everything. Keep your communication with the other parent positive, and don’t say anything to them that you wouldn’t want a judge to see.
5. Exercise Caution With Your Social Media Use
In today’s day and age, it’s easy to jump on social media to complain about your ex. It might feel good to publicly vent and receive support, however, it’s not a good idea! If you publicly bash the other parent it could potentially be used against you as evidence of parental alienation.
Your activity on social media can be used as evidence in a variety of other ways too, and is sure to be closely scrutinized. What you say online can negatively impact the outcome of a custody battle so it’s important to exercise caution.
Social media posts can be used to assess your character and play a role in determining the outcome of your custody case. What you post can also be used as evidence of your state-of-mind, location history, spending habits or income, and as documentation of activities and people you’ve engaged with.
Anything that depicts you in a less-than-favorable light or exercising poor judgment could easily hurt your case. It’s advisable to err on the side of caution and to not use social media while you’re in the midst of a custody case.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your online activities and how they might impact your child custody case you should consult with an attorney.
Another point to keep in mind regarding social media is that the same rules apply to your ex. If there is anything posted on social media or through private messages that you think is relevant to your case you need to consult with an attorney right away. In order for social media-based activity to be presented as evidence certain steps must be taken to ensure everything is properly documented and admissible as evidence.
6. Stay Positively Engaged in Your Child’s Life
The best thing you can do for the long-run is to exercise your rights and honor your responsibilities as a parent. Even before a formal agreement is made, take every opportunity to be a strong presence in your child’s life, and stay away from mistakes that could make you lose your parental rights.
This is an ongoing issue since you might need to modify your child custody agreement in the future, so it’s important to keep the previously mentioned tips in mind as you move forward.
So, How Do You Win a Child Custody Case?
Understanding how to win a child custody case means realizing that there may not be a clear “winner.”
The only true way to consider the outcome of a custody case a win is when decisions are made based upon the best interest of the children involved.
Fight For Your Child’s Best Interest and Call Reppucci and Roeder for a FREE Consultation Today!
Don’t leave your children’s future up to chance or in the wrong hands. Call the experienced family law team at Reppucci and Roeder today at (480) 300-6012 to set up a FREE consultation!