Our children mean the world to us and ugly child custody battles are an unfortunate part of many divorces. Since these can become heated, contentious, and emotional, parents don’t always think straight. As a result, it’s important to prepare for child custody cases ahead of time.
When it comes to awarding custody, the courts place the best interests of the child above everything else. Their comfort, safety, and security take precedence over things like parental convenience or preference. Whichever parent provides the best environment, usually winds up with custody.
This may well be you. However, you still have to demonstrate that fact. Here are some ways to prepare for child custody cases and show that you’re the ideal parent.
The purpose of child custody hearings is to show that you are the best parent. One way to verify your involvement in your child’s life is to keep track of the time you spend together. Collect records of activities and regular daily activities. If you go to a Padres game, hold onto the ticket stubs. Save pictures from a weekend camping trip. Keep a record of your parenting time and all that it entails. Gathering this type of evidence is a big part of how to prepare for child custody cases.
The best way to demonstrate you’re an involved parent is to actually be involved. If you have visitation, make the most of it and don’t skip scheduled visits if you can help it. Show up to school plays, soccer games, band concerts, graduations, and other important activities. And don’t just appear at the fun stuff, either. Take the kids to their appointments at the dentist, be there for parent-teacher conferences, and do all the things that show you’re truly invested in raising your child. It’s not just a good way to prepare for child custody cases, it’s good for your kids, too.
Having people who can testify on your behalf strengthens your case. Common witnesses include teachers, doctors, neighbors, therapists, or child-care providers. This really means anyone with insight or who can speak to your parenting abilities and relationship with your child. It’s important to have people who have seen you interact with your child to support that you’re a good parent.
Hire a Child Custody Attorney
As stated earlier, child custody cases often turn heated and confrontational. Emotions run hot, tempers flare, and people may not think straight. It’s often in your best interest to hire an experienced child custody lawyer. Especially if your ex hires one or you suspect things will get messy. A knowledgeable attorney can help calm you down when you don’t act rationally, guide you through the process, and advise you on the best way to move forward. Someone who has been through this many times can help you prepare for child custody cases.
For your sake, for your case’s sake, and for the sake of your kids, do your best to remain calm. You may get frustrated and your ex may infuriate you, but blowing your lid doesn’t do you any favors. It’s easier to make rational, realistic decisions when you keep an even keel. You’re more likely to stay focused on the matter at hand and not get sucked into an ugly war. Judges may even dismiss legitimate claims if you frequently act irrationally. If you know you’re prone to emotional outbursts, take whatever steps necessary to keep yourself in check. It’s often key as you prepare for child custody cases.
These are just a few steps to take before you enter into a child custody battle. There are countless other strategies to get ready. You have many possible ways to prepare for child custody cases. But whatever measures you take, it’s vital to lay the groundwork. Spend the time and energy to create a sound approach, it will only benefit your cause.
If you have child custody questions, contact Goldberg Jones at our San Diego office.