If you’re going through a divorce or separation, I bet you’re tired, exhausted, and frustrated. The thought of opening another letter from your lawyer is dreadful. The fact that you have to fight for custody makes it seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
Child custody can be one of the most devastating and emotionally destructive wars you can wage with your spouse. However, there are things you can do that will work in your favor and help you win. There are things you should also avoid doing for the same reason.
To help you understand the best way to go about the situation, we have compiled a comprehensive list of the do’s and don’t of winning a child custody battle.
The Do’s of Winning a Child Custody Case
There are several important things you have to do to show that it would be in the best interest of the child if they remain with you. These things will boost your chances of not just winning the battle, but doing it in the best way possible.
Do Consult a Child Custody Lawyer Before the Battle
The last thing you want is to go through the process alone. Child custody laws can be very confusing. Given how emotionally drained you may be from the separation, getting council is one of the best things you can do.
Depending on your situation, and the willingness of your spouse, you could be facing a long and complicated process. There are many professional child custody attorneys, so find the best one in your area and let them assist you. Ask for their honest opinion about your chances of winning before engaging your spouse.
Do Fight for the Right Reasons
There are many reasons why you would be filing for child custody. For instance, if you’re looking to protect your kids from an abusive parent, fighting for custody would be a good idea. However, if you just wanted to get leverage over your spouse due to your financial situation, it’s not a good reason.
It’s important for you to understand why you’re fighting for child custody depending on reasons for separation. Is it because you don’t want them to live with your ex and their current spouse?
Are you doing it because the reason for your separation was an affair? It’s understandable that you’re hurt if they did and it ended your relationship.
However, does it mean your ex-spouse is a bad parent? Are you getting custody because you’re angry at your house or are you doing it because it’s the best thing for the children? As much as possible, try not to do it out of spite.
Do What You Can to Settle Out of Court
Taking your child custody battle to court will not only be exhausting but expensive as well. Besides that, you can never tell what the judge will do, and that will be the final ruling. Regardless of how great of a case you think you have, try mediation first.
If possible, talk to your ex-spouse and see whether they agree that it’s best for the children if you don’t end up in court. Talk to your child custody lawyer about the best way to settle out of court. Talking and agreeing out of court usually has the best possible outcome for all parties.
Do Control Yourself
During a child custody case, all eyes will be on you and anything you do could impact the outcome. One of the best things you can do is control yourself and avoid drama with your spouse. Don’t send them angry text messages that they can use against you.
Avoid ranting or conducting bad behavior when around them. Try as much as possible to stay away from social media or taking your problems there. Even more importantly, keep your children out of the case and don’t tell them the details of the battle.
Try as much as you can not to fight with your spouse when kids are present and don’t talk badly about your spouse to your kids. Don’t take the kids to court because it’ll seem like a bad judgment on your part and the judge may start questioning your motives.
Do Honor Court Requests
One of the best things you can do to win a child custody battle is honor court requests. Do everything the court requires of you to show commitment. You may have to do things like parental classes of counseling, so do them to demonstrate how willing you are to have the kids.
Do Get a Paternity Test
If you and the mother of your child were not married and you’re not sure if the child is yours, get a paternity test. It’ll help you prove that you’re the father, and give you the right to fight for child custody. Talk to a child custody lawyer and find out the paternity lawyer cost in this case so boost your chances of winning.
The Don’ts of Winning a Child Custody Case
Now that you know what to do, let’s discuss what not to do. These are the things that could jeopardize your chances of winning the child custody battle.
Don’t Talk Negatively or Make False Allegations Against Your Ex
The last thing you want to do is talk negatively about your ex to your kids. The next worst thing you can do is make up negative and false allegations against them. Any false allegation means the judge will question everything else you say or do.
This can result in a detrimental outcome, especially if you want child custody so as to protect your kids. Your ex-spouse will get the ammunition they need to show the court that all you want to do is win, and not get the kids because of concern for them. Even if you feel you’ll get an upper hand in court, don’t make false allegations.
Don’t Show Up Late
Showing up late to meetings, hearings, or to pick up kids may leave a negative impression on your commitment, or lack thereof. Arriving on time shows that your kids are a top priority, boosting your chances of winning the case. If the kids are currently living with your ex-spouse, avoid rescheduling visits as well.
Don’t Use Alcohol or Abuse Drugs
Misusing drugs and alcohol will end badly for you, for so many reasons. It’ll show that you’re irresponsible and incapable of taking care of the children. It may also result in drama when you meet with your ex, and you may end up making bad decisions.
How to Get Custody of a Child: The Do’s and Don’t of Winning Child Custody Battles
Going through a child custody battle is not a walk in the park. You and your ex-spouse may not see eye to eye, so you will disagree on issues and get frustrated in the process. However, it’s important that you maintain your decorum and follow these do’s and don’ts.
These will up your chances of winning the case, and so will hiring the best child custody lawyer. However, even if you don’t win, it’s of utmost importance that you don’t give up on your kids. Strive to maintain a healthy relationship with them, for their sake.
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