If you’re a parent trying to get custody of your child it’s a good idea to know how to present yourself in front of the judge, what to expect and what the best strategy is for achieving your goal in family court. Most of the time, parents automatically seek full custody of their child because they feel that the other parent is unfit to take care of the child in question. This sometimes is the case unfortunately. However, what all parents seeking custody out there need to know is that the judge is concerned with making a ruling that is in the best interests of the child; a parent seeking full custody of their child does not always reflect this. Taking this into account before you step in front of the judge and showing them that you’re trying to make a decision that reflects the child’s best interests instead of condemning your ex and demanding full custody will show them that you’re trying to do what’s right. Before you go into family court, think about these things:
Who’s better than who? In most cases, you’ll find that it is difficult to petition the court to remove one of the parents from a child’s life, especially if both parents were involved in that child’s life up until your court date. It is necessary to have both parents in a child’s life in order to produce the greatest amount of overall well being for the child. Statistically speaking, having an absent mother or father can cause issues later in life and can cause children to act out in their adolescent years. Also, one parent trying to prove that the other is not fit to raise your child can be extremely difficult. The judge would have to see proof that they are an alcoholic or violent or mentally unstable to make such a ruling.
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Judges will take notice of parents who take into account the psychological well being of their children. Whether you’re trying to get full custody or half time shared custody, showing the court that you’re taking into consideration the child’s school and activity schedule, eating and sleeping habits and all the other facets of their lives is going to show the judge that you don’t just want to bad mouth the mother or father of the child.
Be a supportive parent. It looks good, and is good, when parents are in favor of sharing custody and maintaining a relationship, even if it is just a working relationship, with the other parent. This acknowledgement of the need for both parents shows that you care more about the child than your feelings about your ex. Having a parenting plan or some kind of strategy worked out is a great thing to have to show the judge that you’ve been giving this a lot of thought. If you don’t have one written up, show the court that you openly want to establish a parenting plan to map out a schedule for what nights they stay with the mother or father, who takes the child to school, contingency plans for emergencies etc. Anger and negative feelings towards the other parent cloud your judgment and make people say and do things they wouldn’t do under normal circumstances. Sometimes this can be difficult if the reason for the two of you separating wasn’t the most pleasant of occurrences. Keeping a cool head and maintaining your composure not only shows the judge that you’re on the level but it also proves it to yourself and your child that you care about what’s best for the family.
Getting you and parents like yourself prepared to go to family court and be successful is one of our highest priorities. Make sure to contact us if you do need immediate help and would like discuss your situation.
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Disclaimer: aboutthechildren.org and aboutthechildrenblog.com are not a law firm or attorneys. We do not provide legal advice or legal counsel. The information discussed on this and related content is for informational purposes only and is public knowledge. The circumstances and facts discussed do not apply to all situations. Every situation is different.
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