Tips for Negotiating a Custody Battle

Tips for Negotiating a Custody Battle

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If you’re going through a divorce, and you have children, one of the areas you and your former spouse will have to navigate is child custody. To protect your legal rights, you should find an experienced divorce attorney. Attorneys will present both sides’ cases to the judge and ensure the best solution for the children.

When determining custody, the court will investigate who the primary parent in a marriage is. To better understand the primary parent’s meaning, most courts determine who has spent the most time with the children. For example, a stay-at-home parent would be seen as the primary parent.

After many divorces, courts award both ex-spouses partial custody of the children. However, the court will typically award primary custody to one spouse. If you wonder, “What is primary custody?” Custody is the designation of the person responsible for most childcare responsibilities in the home.

One of the most complicated custody dilemmas involves custody when parents live in different states. Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, custody may only be filed in the state considered the child’s home state. These cases will designate one parent as having primary custody while the other parent typically has visitation rights.

Child custody issues are prevalent in our world today because of situations such as divorces, unmarried separations, abandonment, and the like. It’s imperative that you have all the elements you need to get through your custody situation with the best possible solution. You’ll also need to ensure that your child or children remain emotionally well during the entire process.

Questions You Might Be Asking

Perhaps you want to know, “Can a father get joint custody?” The answer is yes. It’s possible for a father to get joint custody if the mother is cooperative or the courts rule that he must.

You might be wondering something like, ” Can I file for custody without a lawyer?” or “Can I file for joint custody without a lawyer?” The answer is yes, but it’s probably not in your best interest to do so.

Legally, you will need to have the appropriate representation to ensure that your needs and your children’s needs are met. You should never skip hiring a family lawyer because too many issues can arise that can cause problems in your case. The best way to deal with custody issues is to hire a professional who can work with you every step of the way. Now you might be wondering, “Can I get a court-appointed attorney for child custody?” You may be able to find an attorney who wants to do pro bono work for you, but it’s less likely that the court will appoint one.

Stay as involved as possible in the lives of your children. Be wary of allowing your spouse to handle all the details of their activities, and do your best to learn about every aspect of your children’s lives including schooling, extra-curricular activities, medical appointments, and shopping for clothing.
Our society sees the dissolution of marriage more often now than in any other era. Since Massachusetts became the first state to allow judicial divorce in 1780, the divorce rate has steadily climbed. Today, the mean age of a woman for a first divorce is now 29 years old, and couples married at older ages with higher education and more money are more likely to stay together. Divorce can be incredibly stressful, as evidenced by one statistic showing that men are more likely than women to turn to drinking after divorce. Perhaps, divorce becomes even more stressful and complex when there are children involved.

Family lawyers for child support
are kept busy coordinating child custody, child support, and visitation rights. If you’re fighting for child custody, the right attorney is essential, but there are also steps you can take to make the process easier.

  1. Avoid exposing your children to any unhealthy or unsafe environments when they are spending time with you. Many judges recommend against the exposure of a child to any new relationships, so it’s best to make your time spent with your children a time for one-on-one interaction.
  2. Don’t ever be critical of the other parent while your children are in your care. You only hurt your chances at child custody if you hurt your child’s relationship with your spouse. Judges will want to know whether you’re promoting or preventing the other parent from having a relationship with the children.
  3. Accurately record everything. Keep a calendar showing when you spent time with your children, where you went, and who was with you. If your spouse has dropped them off late or made last minute changes to the plan, it should be recorded on your calendar for easy access.
  4. Always, always, always be on time when picking up or dropping off your children. A persistently late parent will not score any points in a child custody case.
  5. Be flexible in your parenting. If your spouse wants to switch days or weekends, make every effort to do so. In child custody cases, judges tend to favor parents who try to make the schedule work.
  6. Don’t involve your children in the court case. Judges don’t approve of children knowing every detail of child custody cases.
  7. Know when to accept defeat. The judge will probably give your children the opportunity to say where they would like to live. If you know for sure that they would like to live with the other parent, it might not be worth spending time and money on a custody victory. If, however, you truly believe that living with you is in the best interest of your children, by all means, pursue the case.
  8. Be prepared to show the judge why the other parent should not be granted custody. Records of mental health issues, substance abuse, neglect of the children’s basic needs, or the children’s exposure to unhealthy relationships or environments are all viable.
  9. Look for an experienced child custody lawyer who can provide sound legal advice based on detailed knowledge of family law.

If you’re in the midst of a stressful divorce and can’t imagine the added stress of losing custody, be careful to follow these tips as you fight your custody battle. It may seem anxiety-inducing now, but it will be worth it when you get to keep legal claim over your children. Links like this: St. louis child support attorney

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