How to Be Awarded Custody of Your Child

There are almost 750,000 divorces happening every year in the US. However, each of them is unique and can have long-lasting emotional consequences for everyone involved, especially your children. Making all the right decisions in their best interest is essential to ensure that they will grow up in a loving home where they can flourish.

While child custody and child support are the most important priorities for divorcing parents, they are also the most delicate and strongly disputed topics in most divorces. 

Whether you are looking to obtain full or joint custody of your child, it is vital to understand the steps of a child custody battle and be prepared to present a winning case. The judge will carefully review each piece of evidence you can provide and always make a decision based on the children’s best interest. However, understanding what’s ahead can help you prepare in the best way.

Consult a Specialized Attorney

If custody of your child is disputed, the first step is always to consult a specialized and highly experienced attorney. While you are not formally required to hire an attorney (“pro se” filing), family law can be challenging to navigate and, without the right knowledge, your chances of obtaining your child’s custody considerably decrease. 

During your child custody battle, you will be required to complete specialized forms, file paperwork at the courthouse, and prepare for your hearing. A specialized attorney can prevent you from making mistakes that will delay your court date and help you prepare to present the strongest case for yourself. 

Don’t forget that each divorce and child custody battle is unique — understanding the local law and knowing how to behave in front of your randomly assigned judge can be crucial aspects to obtain what you are asking. 

Have Honest and Realistic Expectations

Divorces are undoubtedly complicated, but they can be even more so when the emotions and affection for your child are involved. 

However, before appearing in front of a judge, it is essential to understand what to expect from child custody and what to ask for in child custody. While you might want full custody, you should consider whether that’s the right decision for you and your child from various viewpoints, such as financial, environmental, and emotional.

Having a full understanding of your life and pre-existing responsibilities won’t only help you present a stronger case but also fight for the right outcomes.

Create a Meaningful Relationship With Your Child

During the investigation process, the court will look for any piece of evidence that suggests that you are the most suitable person to obtain custody. While you might already be covering your children’s financial, practical, and material needs, you should also do all that is in your power to build a meaningful relationship with them.

Some evidence of this connection might include knowledge of their academic process, social life, sports they might play, and interests. The judge might also look into whether you are actively involved with their lives, attending events, supporting their education, and being present in their everyday lives.

Create A Positive Environment For Your Child

When assigning a child’s custody to one of the parents, Courts look for factors that will benefit the children’s future lives. Some factors, such as the wealth and gender of the parent, are no longer discriminated against, but the judge will still investigate what living accommodation and environment are best suited for the child’s development. 

They are likely to inquire about your child’s living accommodations, looking for signs that the child has a dedicated, special space in your home. You might need to provide evidence that you are regularly at your residence, your child always has a bed to sleep in, and your residence is safe and adequate.

Part of creating a positive environment for your child is also treating the other parent with respect. While you might be disputing child custody, it is essential to remain polite, respectful, and open to communication.

Present A Compelling Case and Be Patient

Here at Fiore & Barber, we know that each divorce case is different and unique, and we are ready to put our 25 years of experience at your disposal and help you fight to obtain the child custody arrangements you deserve. 

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