Winning a child custody battle is never easy. Divorce can be a wrenching process, and when children are involved, it can be even more difficult. But with the right information and preparation, you can give yourself the best chance of success. Here are some important tips you should know that will help you win your case and get the custody arrangement you want.
1. Get An Attorney
The first and most important step in winning a child custody battle is to hire an experienced family law attorney. This is not the time to try to save money by going it alone or using a general practice lawyer. You need someone who understands the complexities of child custody law and has a successful track record in court. If you’re in Alberta, an experienced attorney from reputable offices in Edmonton will be able to help you with your case. Additionally, your attorney can provide you with valuable advice and guidance throughout the legal process.
2. Understand The Factors Judges Consider
When making a child custody determination, judges will consider several factors. These include the child’s age, health, and safety, the child’s relationship with each parent, each parent’s work schedule and ability to care for the child, the child’s educational needs, each parent’s mental and physical health, any history of domestic violence or abuse, and the child’s preference (if the child is old enough to express one). You must understand all of these factors so that you can present your case in the best light possible. So, as a parent, consider:
- How does your work schedule fit with the child’s needs?
- Do you have any mental or physical health issues that may impact your ability to care for a child?
- Do you have any history of domestic violence or abuse?
- What is the child’s relationship with each parent like?
3. Present A Positive Picture Of Yourself To The Court
To win custody, you need to present yourself in the best possible light to the court. This means being honest about your parenting abilities and your relationship with your child. It also means being respectful of the other parent and not trying to paint them in a negative light. Remember, the focus should be on what’s best for the child, not on winning at all costs. In many cases, it’s possible to reach a custody agreement through negotiation and mediation, which is another reason why you should be a positive figure. This can often be quicker and less expensive than going to court. And it can also be less stressful for everyone involved, including the children. If you’re willing to negotiate, be prepared to compromise on some points. But make sure you know what your bottom line is before you start bargaining.
4. Be Willing To Modify The Agreement Later
A child custody arrangement that works well when the child is young may need to be modified as the child gets older. So, it’s important to be flexible and willing to make changes to the agreement as the child’s needs change. If you’re not willing to do this, it will reflect poorly on you in court. The focus should always be on what’s best for the child, not on what’s convenient for the parents.
5. Follow The Court’s Orders
Once a custody arrangement is in place, it’s important to follow it. This means being punctual for pick-ups and drop-offs, respecting the other parent’s time with the child, and not making any changes to the schedule without first consulting with the other parent (and getting approval from the court if necessary). If you don’t follow the court’s orders, you could find yourself back in court fighting for custody all over again.
6. Be Involved In Your Child’s Life
To win custody, you need to show the court that you’re an active and involved parent. This means being involved in your child’s school life, attending their extracurricular activities, and knowing what’s going on in their life. It also means being able to provide a stable home life for the child. If you’re not currently involved in your child’s life, now is the time to start. Show the court that you’re willing to make the necessary changes to be an active and involved parent.
And remember, badmouthing the other parent is never going to help you win custody. It will only make you look bad in the eyes of the court. The focus should be on what’s best for the child, not on winning at all costs. By following these tips, you can increase your chances of winning a child custody battle. But remember, every case is different, so it’s important to consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific situation.