In many cases, winning a child custody battle is not easy. In order to make that happen, there are a number of things that you need to do right. All in all, winning this type of court battle comes down to how you present yourself.
- Do make it clear that you are willing to work with your ex. Many parents have lost child custody battles in court because they were clearly not willing to cooperate with the other parent in any capacity. No matter how much you hate your ex, the fact remains that they are going to be part of the lives of your kids and the family court needs to be convinced that you are willing to be a cooperative co-parent.
- Donot speak ill of your ex to the kids. When talking to the kids, it is important that you maintain at least neutral feelings and opinions about your ex. If you want to vent your frustrations about your ex, do it with a trusted friend or a therapist.
- Do exercise your rights as a parent. Take full advantage of visitation rights if they have been granted to you and use them to spend as much time as you can with your kids doing regular, daily activities such as chores and homework.
- Donot arrive late for pickups or visits. It is the little things such as not showing up on time that the opposing family lawyer can use to build a case about how uncommitted you are.
- Do request for an in-home custody valuation. Such evaluations can be quite useful, especially in cases where there’s a chance that your ex might try to create a bad impression of the home environment that you offer the kids.
- Donot be in the habit of rescheduling the time you had planned to spend with your kids. When you reschedule your parenting time repeatedly, the court gets the impression that your reasons for filing for custody are disingenuous and have little to do with you wanting to raise the children. So make sure there is no documented pattern of you being non-committal.
- Do realize that perception makes or breaks your case. One of the most difficult things to come to terms within a battle for child custody is that the truth behind any allegations leveled against you doesn’t matter; what really matters is whether or not the court believes them to be true. Do whatever you can to present yourself as a loving, involved, and competent parent.
- Don’t partake in drugs and alcohol, especially in the presence of your children. This is among the things that could be used to build a powerful case against you. It is imperative that there’s not even a hint that you might be engaging in activities that put your children at risk.