Retaining custody of your children requires taking several pre-emptive steps and learning key bits of information before child custody proceedings. In this article, we’ll examine how to prepare for a custody battle and improve your chances of winning your case.
1. Hire an Attorney Who Knows How to Prepare for a Custody Battle
The difference between keeping or losing custody solely lies in your choice of lawyer. You need a seasoned custody attorney who can use their knowledge and experience to help detail the entire custody process to you. Never cut corners if your children’s future is on the line. At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, we know how to prepare for a custody battle. Contact us today.
2. Keep Detailed Records and Accounts
If you keep a journal and detail certain records and accounts, your attorney can use these documents to greatly increase your chances of keeping child custody. Keep track of the following:
- How often you spend time with your children
- Every activity that you’re involved with your children in
- How often your spouse spends time with your children
- Note down the times your spouse is gone, how long they’re at work, and how often they leave town for trips
- Note down all negative remarks, profanities, threats, shouting, arguments, or other adverse behavior
Recollect over the previous six months to a year and document everything you’ve done, as well as your spouse. Show the court your records to prove you’re an active caretaker of your children. Consider even bringing in photos of your child to show that they’re happy in your care.
3. Prove You’re a Capable Provider
The last step you should take to prepare for your custody battle is to establish that you can provide for your children. The court wants to serve your children’s best interests. If you can show that you can care for those interests, then you vastly improve your chances of keeping custody. Inform the court on the following facts. You:
- Hold a job and place to live
- Have already prepared for child care and school
- Participate in extracurricular activities in the community, such as volunteering at your children’s school, being involved in your neighborhood or church, etc.
On the flip side, prepare to show why your spouse is incapable of properly caring for your children. Get witnesses to testify against your spouse’s parenting ability to help prove they are the improper custodial parent.
4. Stay in the Family Home Until Custody Arrangement is in Place
If you plan to move out of the family home without your children, wait until a court order is in place before you do so. This can also include waiting to move until a written agreement is in place that sets the start of the custody arrangement to after you leave the house.
Your Children’s Preference of Custody
Children don’t get to decide which parent to live with until they reach a certain age. Because of the high pressure behind deciding, the older your children get, the more the court acknowledges their ability to make an intelligent decision. Once your children reach a certain age, the court will place a greater importance on their opinion. However, even at that age, the court can still override your children’s preference if living with one parent proves a detriment to their best interests.
Oftentimes, when a child expresses interest in living with a certain parent, the court will appoint an interview from a minor’s counsel. During this interview, the counsel will figure out how much emphasis to put behind the child’s decision.
What Questions to Ask Your Child Custody Attorney
Learn how to prepare for a custody battle by asking your attorney the right questions. Some of these questions include the following:
- What important factors lead to gaining temporary custody of my children?
- What consequences result from moving out of the family home and giving temporary custody to your spouse?
- Why did I lose temporary child custody, and how can I improve my situation to achieve permanent child custody?
At the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks, our experienced legal team knows how to prepare for a custody battle. Contact us today.