For parents, nothing is more important than being part of your children’s
lives, which is why a
child custody dispute is often difficult for parents to process and cope with. With
emotions and tensions at an all-time high, it is easy to make a mistake.
Unfortunately, many of the mistakes parents make at this stage have the
potential to result in serious repercussions. Therefore, it is crucial
to prepare yourself for your upcoming hearing, so you have the best possible
chance of securing the custody arrangement you are seeking.
How to Effectively Prepare for Your Custody Dispute
Although it might feel like a battle, you should not view your child custody
hearing as a fight. You and your spouse are ending your marriage, but
you will continue to be in each other’s lives as dedicated co-parents,
so go into this process with that in mind. A judge will look upon you
more favorably if you appear to be cooperative, open to compromise, and
civil with your spouse. If you behave emotionally or impulsively in court,
you will appear unstable and, given the importance of stability in a child’s
life, this will harm you in court.
Here are some tips that will help you prepare for the road ahead:
Prove that you are an engaged and responsible parent: If you want to secure custody of your children, you must show that you
have in interest in their lives. Attend parent-teacher meetings, attend
their afterschool activities to cheer them on, and try to avoid leaving
them with a babysitter, if possible.
Make sure your home is safe and kid-appropriate: It can be a little difficult for a newly single parent to maintain the
same living standards they had when living in the marital home, especially
since you and your spouse likely divided household duties. However, you
must maintain a clean and kid-friendly environment for your children to
visit. If they feel uncomfortable or the environment is unsafe, you will
have a difficult time in court.
Show good character: No one expects you to be a saint, but you should demonstrate good character.
In a child custody dispute, showing good character means being cordial
with your ex-spouse, not fighting in public, and not badmouthing your
co-parent in front of your children. You should also seek to know more
about the adults in your children’s lives, such as their teachers
or their friends’ parents.
Work with your attorney: Your child custody attorney is an invaluable resource. Do not withhold
any information or lie about anything, no matter how embarrassed you might
be. Your attorney’s job is to help you, so do not worry about being judged.
With these tips in mind and the advice of your attorney, you can improve
your chances of obtaining the child custody arrangement you are seeking.
Discuss Your Child Custody Case with Our Compassionate Family Law Team
At the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny, our family law team is committed
to helping families navigate the most challenging family law matters,
including child custody. We know how important your children are to you,
which is why you can expect to receive the personalized solutions you
need to achieve your goals.
Contact us today at (713) 936-2300 to arrange a consultation!