Remember what it is you are fighting for
Far to often, child custody battles can become the centerpiece of a bitter divorce. Child custody battles are usually the result of an inability to come to an agreement in regards to custody arrangements and often require the case to go to trial.
In the past, it was usually assumed that the mother will get custody of the children, but this is not always the case now. Decisions made about custody arrangements are generally based on the "best interests of the child". The "best interests of the child" are based on factors that include the home environment, ability to spend time with the child, stability and more.
“choose your battles wisely”
Winning your child custody case depends on your ability to prove that your home is the best for child. However, more often than not, the attitude that predisposes you to winning will ultimately harm your child. There is no situation for which the phrase to “choose your battles wisely” is more appropriate than in the case of a child custody battle. Before you decide to engage in a battle with your ex-spouse over the custody arrangements for your child, you must make sure that you are keeping your child's best interest as the reason to engage in a custody battle and not for personal emotional reasons.
When preparing for a custody battle, it is important to keep in mind that your daily interactions with your child and your parenting skills will be put under the microscope. What you say will become far less important than what you do. Often times testimony from witnesses like friends, families and professionals will be used to help determine the fitness of your parenting skills.
A tool like the OurFamilyWizard website can make a custody battle go more smoothly. When you go to court, you will need to be prepared to show the courts that you are organized and able to make plans in relation to your child. A tool like the OurFamilyWizard website can assist you by providing detailed and consistent records. The OurFamilyWizard website can help with documenting your interactions with the other parent, presenting your ability to make plans related to your child and keeping records on behaviors of the other parent.
There are a number of ways that you can prove that you are the better parent. Below are some ideas:
- Use a tool like the OurFamilyWizard website to record activities and plans for the child
- Be involved in your child's school and extra-curricular activities.
- Stay involved with the professionals like teachers, coaches and school counselors.
- Stay actively involved in making sure your child makes it to their doctor and dentist visits.
- Take your children on vacations and spend quality time with them and take lots of pictures of you with your children.
Also, it may become important for you to document bad behavior by the other parent, here are some things to watch for and document:
- Very busy work schedules that effect the quality and amount of time spent with the child.
- Failure to make child support payments.
- Failure to meet parenting time responsibilities.
- Interfering or disrupting your parenting time with the children.
- DWI convictions, jail time or proof of drug abuse
- Mental illness
- Engaging the child in dangerous activities
- Neglectful, inappropriate, alienating or abusive forms of parenting reported by the child.
- Cohabitating or exposing children to a new partner or spouse.
Using a tool like the OurFamilyWizard website can make documenting and keeping accurate records a much easier process which is incredibly important if you find yourself in a custody battle. It will help to paint a clearer picture of what has actually happened and help eliminate the ability for "he said/she said" issues to confuse and clog up the custody process.
The most important thing to remember if you find yourself in a custody battle is your child. The purpose for determining custody is to help create an environment that will foster your child's healthy growth.