There is nothing more serious in family courts than dealing with the custody of children. While every jurisdiction has their unique set of law on this topic, some basic principles apply to every case. While some states use the terms legal custody and physical custody interchangeably, the focus of this article will be in the physical custody of the children. Furthermore, some jurisdictions will change the procedures if the case involves married and divorced couples versus non-married couples.
Tips on how to get your child custody are as follows;
Prepare For Battle
Most people are not prepared for a custody battle. Besides not knowing the procedure, it is tough to understand the emotional toll that such a battle can take upon you and your family. Furthermore, custody battles also take an enormous financial toll on the family as well. Money is like ammunition, and while the person with more ammunition doesn’t always win the battle, it does give a huge advantage to the other side. You will have to be creative in how and when you deploy money for the case.
Select The Right Attorney
This is a fascinating topic as everyone has their criteria for how to find the best attorney. Physical characteristics, location, religion, age, hourly rate, firm association and other random factors will likely not help you. An attorney just saying that they have handled these cases doesn’t help. You need to make sure that this attorney has a plan to win your case. Most clients that leave their attorney for us, often tell me that their attorney did not seem to have any plan. Without a plan, there is no strategy, and in such a case, it will be tough to win.
Focus On What Matters
This is a very emotional issue; there is no getting around that. Clients have a tendency to want to focus more on how bad the other side is as a spouse rather than if they are a good parent.
This is where having a quality attorney comes into play. Your attorney should be the gatekeeper between what you want to say and what gets before the court. All too often, attorneys let their clients do whatever they want to do. While the final decision is ultimately up to you, the last thing you want is a yes man (or woman). Likewise, don’t feel the need to go tit for tat with the other side. Instead, your lawyer can help you formulate a general response to the allegations and then hopefully turn it around on them.
Defend Against Accusations Right Away
Unfortunately, many people will say anything to gain an advantage in a custody case. False allegations of domestic violence, child abuse, and substance abuse are common. Some of these allegations may be overt, such as complaints to police and other agencies, whereas other allegations could just be threats or hearsay from third parties.