Fighting for the custody of your children is one of the worst parts of a divorce. Besides separating from the person you thought you’d be together with for the rest of your life, you also have to go through the process of deciding who your children will stay with. It’s especially traumatic for the children who do not understand why their mom and dad do not live in the same house anymore.
Getting custody of the children is not that easy. The court will have to take a look at the situation of both parents and listen to their arguments before making a decision. While you cannot be sure that the court will rule in your favor, you can do a few things that will increase your chances of success.
Keep reading to find out how you can get custody of your children following a divorce.
It should go without saying that evidence is necessary when you go against someone else in court. Custody fights are no exception. If you got divorced after your spouse has been abusive or has had inappropriate behavior, then you will have to prove this to the judge. Proving certain types of behavior may not only help you spend as much time as possible with your children, but it may also save them from a potentially toxic and abusive parent.
Proving bad and inappropriate behavior is a challenge on its own, though. If you can, record all phone conversations and save emails or text messages that can be used as evidence. In case the mental health situation of the spouse is concerning, you can also request a mental health evaluation from the court.
Another option would be to hire a private investigator to get proof of your ex-partner’s endeavors. Now, this can be expensive, so it’s not an option for everyone. If you have the money, it may be worth it, especially if you couldn’t get evidence in other ways.
Always Do What’s In Your Child’s Best Interest
One wrong reaction or action can be enough to ruin your chances at child custody. Even if you are tempted to do certain things out of anger or hurt, you should stop and take a moment to remind yourself that your child is the thing that matters the most here. You must do everything in your child’s best interest.
So, for example, do not tell your children grown-up things, and do not involve them in adult conversations. Getting your children involved in fights is one of the worst things you can do. It doesn’t put you in a good light, and if the judge sees this, they will take it into account when deciding who gets custody. Besides, it will make your children suffer, as well.
Be Familiar with the State’s Laws
Before the fight for child custody begins, you should learn the child custody laws in your state. Each state has its own laws regarding child custody, and not being familiar with them can lead to huge mistakes. The more you know, the better it will be for you.
While researching laws, do not hesitate to write down any questions you might have. Then, you can ask a lawyer these questions, which takes us to the next point.
Hire a Child Custody Attorney
The best person to help you boost your chances of obtaining child custody is a lawyer. It is important to know that hiring an attorney is not mandatory. However, when you want to make sure your child doesn’t go to the other parent, a lawyer can significantly increase your chances of success.
Check out this website for some good lawyer options after your divorce and do not hesitate to schedule a consultation. Once the expert learns more about your case, they will be able to advise you and help you.
Do Not Begin Dating
Whether you are already interested in someone else or not after your divorce, there’s one thing to keep in mind – you should not begin dating that early. It may be extremely difficult, particularly if you’re seeing someone and catching feelings.
The problem is that when you’re already dating someone not long after your divorce and then seek child custody, the judge may see this as you not having the child’s best interest in mind. So, stay away from dating until everything is over.
Don’t Forget to Complete All Forms
You’ll have to go through a lot of paperwork. So, do not forget to complete every single form. If you forget any detail, then the process may end up being delayed. That means that you should not offer incomplete information or leave any boxes empty. Fill out everything.
Also, you should keep in mind that some states want notarized applications. Try to find out if your state is one of them. If it is, then once you complete the forms, make sure to take them to the notary public in your area.
Have Some Patience
It’s normal to be impatient, especially when you want what’s best for your child and you know that the other parent is anything but good. When you go to court, do not expect a decision to be made immediately by the judge. Before a final decision is made, you may have to go to court several times.
Have some patience and have faith in yourself and everything you’ve done to fight for your child.
The Bottom Line
Child custody battles are stressful for all parties involved, particularly for the children. So, if you want to win the custody fight, you must do everything that is in your child’s best interest. Custody cases can last a very long time, so be prepared for a long process and make sure to hire an experienced lawyer who can help you win. Also, refrain from having any bad behavior toward your former spouse as it can affect your chances of getting custody.