How to Win a Child Custody Case: The Do’s and Don’ts
Going through a child custody dispute is rarely easy. Your child’s future is on the line and you want to do everything you can to get the best possible outcome. There's no magical formula for how to win a child custody case, but there are ways to improve your odds.
Read on for important tips that will help you win a custody battle.
Do: Focus on the Best Interest of Your Children
This may seem obvious, but unfortunately to many parents it's not.
Here's why: It's easy to focus on "winning" a custody case. If you do that, then you're losing sight of the most important thing: your children and their well-being.
Even at a very young age children are able to feel the stress that comes into play during a separation and child custody case. This can cause anxiety and negative changes in behavior.
Older children worry about things like the possibility of having to move, change schools, and leave their friends behind. They often worry if things are their fault, or that one or both parents will no longer love them.
During this stressful time it’s important to keep the focus on your child's best interest. Offer them the emotional support and reassurance that they need.
When working through the details of a child custody agreement keep in mind that it’s in your child's best interest to have both parents actively involved in their life. That is, unless one of the parents is unfit and poses a threat of physical or emotional harm to your child. If that’s not the case, try to come to an amicable compromise regarding custody and visitation schedules that allows children to spend quality time with both parents.
Don't: Focus on Trashing Your Ex
Fighting for custody of a child can feel like a public relations battle as much as anything else. Parents often use this as an opportunity to take out frustrations regarding their relationship with each other, rather than keeping the focus on their kids.
In today’s day and age it’s easy to jump on social media to complain about your ex. It might feel good to publicly vent and receive support, however, it’s not a good idea! What you say online can be used against you during a custody battle. If you publicly bash the other parent it could potentially be used as damaging evidence of parental alienation.
When presenting your case for child custody you may be tempted to bring up the past wrong-doings of your ex, but unless their actions have a direct negative impact on your kids, it’s best to leave those details out. Keep the focus strictly on what’s best for your kids, ego aside.
Do: Hire an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
The outcome of a child custody case will impact the rest of your child’s life, for better or for worse. Having an attorney guide you from the start will help you from making costly mistakes.
Hire an attorney who specializes in family law and has a proven track record of successful child custody case outcomes. They know the law, have tried many cases just like yours, and can play both protector and peacemaker while working for the best-case outcome.
If you have any concerns about the well-being of your children, hiring an attorney is of particular importance. They will advocate for what’s best for your child, making their safety a priority.
Don’t: Have Unrealistic Expectations
If you're a woman you may assume that the courts favor mothers so you'll have an easier time getting the custody arrangement you want.
Similarly, if you're a father, you may have heard horror stories. You may believe that the court is eager to take away your children because many family law judges dislike men.
That’s simply not the case. Neither party should assume that things will play out a certain way based on those false beliefs. Courts favor child custody and visitation agreements that ensure both parents are involved in their children's lives.
An attorney can tell you what is or isn't realistic. For starters, one parent getting 100% custody almost never happens, so adjust your expectations accordingly. Your lawyer will guide you through the process of creating a parenting agreement and fair visitation schedule.
So, How Do You Win a Child Custody Case?
Understanding how to win a child custody case means realizing that there may not be a clear "winner."
The only true way to consider the outcome of a custody case a win is when decisions are made based upon the best interest of the kids.
Don’t leave your children's future up to chance or in the wrong hands. Call the experienced family law team at JM Blattner Attorneys at Law today at 410-415-1400 to set up a FREE consultation!