It’s no surprise, a custody case between two parents can be one of the most stressful events a family can face in life. Obviously, a legal custody battle is any parent’s worst nightmare and can leave one feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. There are many things to take into consideration before filing for custody of a child.
Focus on the Best Interest of the Child
Sadly, things can quickly get heated and escalate during the fracture of a family. Often, involved parties lose sight of the true purpose of a child custody case, and may get lost in only wanting to “win” the legal parental battle.
A custody battle can affect everyone involved. Even the youngest of children can have adverse effects from increased stress in and around the household. It can be an incredibly emotionally draining process and is important to keep the wellbeing of your child at the forefront.
Many children find themselves very confused and concerned of their OWN future during a custody case. Intrusive thoughts of having to move, change schools and deal with a dramatic family dynamic shift can cause great emotional distress. It is important to always take the children’s potential experience into consideration when moving forward with a child custody case.
Finding an Experienced Family Law Attorney
One of the first steps to take when starting a child custody case is finding an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney. A lawyer with proven experience in the family law system will understand the state laws through and through. Many parents may enter a child custody case with high expectations of a favorable outcome, which often are not realistic. Actually, statistics show it is rare to be awarded 100% child custody as the courts prefer having both parents involved in a child’s life.
An experienced child custody attorney will be able to assess your situation and have most likely handled cases like yours in the past. They will be able to provide valuable insight on what to reasonably expect during and after the court process and keep you levelheaded on your expectations. After the legal proceedings have concluded, your attorney often will help develop a working parental agreement between the two parties.
Keep Things Amicable Between Parents
Showing a willingness to work with the opposing parent during a child custody case speaks volumes in the court’s eyes. Not only will keeping a positive relationship with your child’s other parent help during the legal process, but also protect the emotional health of everyone involved, especially children.
The court system wants to see parents work together, as they ultimately are entering new custody terms as a team. Keeping the parent/parent relationship healthy and positive will aid in the wellbeing of all people involved. Children benefit greatly from quality time with each parent, especially during the legal process. Having a structured plan can help ensure a stable environment for the children during a custody case.
Maintain a Positive Presence in Your Child’s Life
It’s very important to continually stay present for your kids while going through a legal custody case. Your parenting track record can be used within the court of law for or against you. It is important to maintain any agreed visitations and limit any rescheduling of these. If you’re reaching to the legal system for custody, you must prove you TRULY want your children in your life, and not for any other ulterior reason.
Not only will a good relationship with your children aid in the legal process, it’s also extremely important for the emotional health of your child. Having one-on-one time with each parent is vital. The reassurance of seeing a healthy new co-parenting relationship, with fair time spent with each parent, can greatly reduce the stress of children involved in a child custody case.
Use Caution When Posting Online
It’s easy these days to jump on to social media to complain and rant about your ex-partner. It may feel good in the moment, especially if you’re looking for a release of pent-up frustration. But keep in mind, negative posts can be extremely detrimental during a child custody case.
Many things can be brought to court and potentially used against you. Location history, general state-of-mind, income/financial information and documentation of activities with certain people are all things that may be used to question your character in court. On the opposite end, if your ex is posting and/or messaging you with anything less than respect and in relation to your children, you should document all instances and forward these to your attorney.
Finding a Lawyer for a Child Custody Case
Finding an experienced family law attorney will aid immensely in the entire legal process. An attorney with thorough knowledge is your best bet in ensuring the best possible outcome for your child custody case. Here at Justice Law Center, we have decades of experience in all aspects of family law. We are here to help guide you throughout the entire legal process of a child custody case and happy to answer any questions you may have.
Josh Nay is a writer and paralegal with over 10 years of experience in personal injury cases, family law and criminal defense.