No one ever plans to go through a custody battle, but sometimes it is necessary. If you are going to court to work out issues involving custody of your kids, it is important to be as prepared.
Familiarize yourself with the better-parent standard
This is the legal standard used in custody cases that asks the question, “Which parent is better able to care for the child?” When making a child custody determination, the court will look at factors such as which parent has been more involved in the child’s life, which parent can provide a more stable home environment, which parent is more likely to encourage a positive relationship with the other parent, and other factors.
Know what you’re asking for
In most custody cases, one parent is asking for primary physical custody (also called “physical placement” or “residential placement”), which means that the child would live with that parent most of the time. The other parent would have visitation rights (also called “parenting time”), which would be set by the court.
Be prepared to explain why you are the better parent
In order to convince the court that you are the better parent, you will need to be prepared to present evidence of your involvement in your child’s life. This may include things like school records, medical records or letters from teachers or other adults who have witnessed your interaction with your child.
Understand the other parent’s parenting style
If you are going to court to try and gain or work out custody issues involving your child, it is important to understand the parenting style of the other parent. This will help you point out any areas where you feel the other parent is not providing a good environment for the child.
Custody cases can take months or even years to resolve. It is important to be prepared for a long battle, both emotionally and financially. The good news is that by taking the tips above, you can put yourself in the best possible position to win custody of your child. Seeking help from a family law attorney is also advised.