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A Quick Checklist on Building a Child Custody Case

2:14 AM Jhon 0 Comments

A child custody battle can be a long and arduous process. It’s a stressful experience, especially since you really don’t know what to expect. However, you can do your best to prepare and increase your chances to achieve a favorable verdict. Here are some tips.

Do: Research
More often than not, a child custody battle is a direct result of a divorce or legal separation. Whatever your reasons –extramarital affairs and lack of intimacy, physical and emotional abuse, irreconcilable differences – it’s prudent to gather two kinds of evidence: those that will support your case and those that can work against your spouse. Keep in mind that the latter may not always come into play during the proceedings, but the former will most definitely be valuable assets when your chance to prove that you are the better parent comes up.

Meanwhile, you should also understand the basics of child custody laws in your state. Knowing the different types child custody is also crucial, so you know what kind of arrangement you can (or have to) ask or argue for. It all boils down to physical or legal custody. Physical custody is when the children live with you most of the time or all of the time, while legal custody is when you have the right to make legal decisions on matters that impact your children. Based on the evidence provided by both parties, the court may decide whether to grant sole custody or joint physical or legal custody.

Do: Know Your Role
In a court of law, it’s not enough that you are the child’s “mom” or “dad” (or “relative”) to get you custody. Titles are important and may sometimes have an impact over the final decision, but your role is much more significant. You need to be able to prove that you are the best person to have custody of the child. Consider everything that you do for the child, including the seemingly insignificant but meaningful details and experiences that you have shared together.

Do: Keep in Touch
This is not just about keeping yourself updated with your children’s lives, such as their school performance and extra-curricular activities. It also means keeping the communication lines open between you and the other parent or other parties fighting for custody. This gesture demonstrates to the judge that you are willing to have a harmonious relationship with them, especially if they have also been a significant presence in your children’s lives.

Don’t: Invent Stories
Not only is this tantamount to perjuring yourself, it’s also not a good example to set for your child. Any lie you present in court may also be used as evidence of your unsuitability to properly care for your child.

Unfounded allegations, negative stories, and exaggerated accounts of your ex’s shortcomings are also a no-no should your children (especially the younger ones) ask about these matters. As they say, honesty is the best policy. If there are things that you can’t (or don’t want to) talk about with your children, simply say that it’s a matter that you can’t discuss.

Don’t: Involve Your Children
You should definitely inform your children about what’s going on and why, so they understand what’s happening, especially when the court’s decision comes. However, you don’t have to share every single detail of the court proceedings. Keep things simple; if you use complicated legalese, you would most likely confuse them even more and burden them with adult issues. Let the kids be kids, but make sure that they understand the implication of what is going on.

Remember that the judge’s main concern is the children’s well-being. Therefore, preparing for a child custody battle means preparing to prove yourself to be the best parent in all aspects.