Going through a separation or divorce is a difficult time. When children are in the picture, things can get complicated.
Every year, over 800,000 divorces occur in the U.S. Many of these involve child custody disputes. Reaching a custody agreement is one of the most difficult and emotional decisions you make during a divorce.
Deciding who the child will live with and various visitation decisions can spark a bitter battle. If you are facing questions of child custody, you want to do everything you can to ensure a favorable outcome.
Here are some tips to help you win your child custody battle.
If you’re facing a custody battle, speak to a child custody attorney. This isn’t a battle you should fight alone.
A child custody attorney will take a look at your case and assess your chances of winning. Although many parents are able to solve their custody issues outside of court, some cases must go before a judge.
If your case goes to court, you want a qualified child custody attorney by your side who will guide you through the process.
Before you begin a lengthy, emotional custody battle, ask yourself if it’s the right choice. Sometimes custody battles are necessary, but you want to make sure it’s for the right reasons.
Consider what’s best for the child. You don’t want to engage in a custody battle out of spite or revenge. Custody battles are difficult for children and everyone involved, so make the best choice for you and your children.
It’s normal for tempers to run high during a divorce. But no matter how angry you may be, you have to act in the best interests of your child.
For this reason, you want to work with your ex at co-parenting. Even if your ex isn’t cooperating, do all that you can to be cordial for your child.
No matter who receives custody, the court expects both parents to spend time with the child. Only in cases of abuse will the court not allow a parent to be a part of their child’s life.
Divorce is hard on children, and in many situations, kids blame themselves for the breakup. Getting your child some professional counseling is a good idea.
This can help your child sort through negative feelings and understand they are not at fault.
Courts value a counselor’s assessment of a child’s wellbeing. A family therapist can provide the judge with information about the child’s home life and each parent’s relative strengths.
If you feel your ex is a threat to you or your child, you should pursue the proper precautions. Talk to the police and seek a restraining order if needed.
Be sure to gather any documentation of previous abuse or arrests. These can be helpful to your custody case.
If you have older children or teenagers, the court may consider your child’s wishes. It may be difficult to obtain custody if your child wants to live with the other parent.
This is hard for many parents to accept. The best thing you can do is try to build a healthy relationship with your child and reach an amicable outcome.
Be careful about posting on social media. Anything you post could be used as evidence in court.
A few pictures of a night out with friends could turn into accusations of you as unfit or drinking too much. You want to present yourself in a favorable light if the case goes before a judge.
If you put down your ex in front of your child, you are putting your child in a difficult situation. Psychologists consider this “parental alienation” and a form of abuse.
This can affect your child psychologically. Negative things you say about your ex can hurt your case if it goes to court.
The court may see your angry words against your ex as an attempt to alienate your child from their other parent.
You should avoid using alcohol and drugs during a custody battle. You don’t want to give your ex any ammunition that could cause you to lose custody.
If the court finds that you abuse alcohol or drugs, you may not receive custody, and it could affect visitation with your child as well.
Make sure you follow all the court’s guidelines and provide any requested paperwork. If you’re not cooperative, the court may see you as irresponsible.
Start gathering any necessary evidence or paperwork. This may include information about interactions with your ex, financial records, documents, or others. Work with your attorney to follow the right steps.
Your reputation matters in a child custody case. Be sure to be on time for all scheduled court dates.
Try not to reschedule your court dates unless it’s an emergency. If you have a scheduled visitation with your child, don’t miss it.
Any sign of unreliability could lead to a less than favorable outcome for you.
As you go through a divorce, it’s easy to fall into anger and negativity. Your child deserves better.
As you make your decisions about how to proceed, keep your child in mind. Every decision should be in their best interest.
If they’re struggling and feeling stressed, you may need to adjust your approach.
If you are facing divorce or a child custody battle in Bexar County or surrounding area, the experienced child custody attorneys of Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda can help. Contact us today to discuss your case.