When you’re in the middle of a custody battle, you know how challenging these times can be. The raw emotions of the situation are enough to trick you into digging a hole to hide in. But a strong, determined approach will serve you well.
This will increase your chances of winning
A custody battle is perhaps the hardest, but the most important thing you will ever have to go through in your entire life. Not only does it directly affect your relationship with your children, but it also affects how they see the world. Sometimes the best outcome is that you have full custody, while sometimes partial custody through friendly separation is the right option for everyone.
What it means to “win” your custody battle depends on various situational factors. Here are some simple ways to increase your chances of success.
1. Focus on the child’s best interests
It’s easy to get so involved in getting a favorable outcome – or so busy trying to outdo your ex-spouse – that you forget to really prioritize your child’s needs.
Difficult as it is, you have to put your personal preferences aside and consider what is best for your child. And unless your ex is abusive or endangering your child’s health and well-being, it makes most sense if the two of you are involved in some way.
Some would disagree with this statement, but it is rare that full custody of a child is the best option. Whether you or the other parent, sole custody makes it difficult for a child to develop a full bond with mom and dad. Each parent has a role to play in the child’s development and you have to look at things from their perspective.
2. Work with your spouse
Put your differences aside and work with your spouse to find the best possible outcome for the children. This does not mean that you will have to make a number of oral agreements yourself without the help of your lawyers. (That makes things very difficult.) However, it does mean that you should have an open dialogue on the matter. There has to be a give and take here. Be smart and don’t let your own pride get in the way.
3. Hire an experienced family law attorney
While you are encouraged to work with your spouse and maintain healthy and open lines of communication, you must hire an attorney. More specifically, you need to hire your own lawyer. (It’s not smart to share one with your spouse.)
“I’ve seen a lot of parents make big mistakes in custody disputes – ones that will haunt them for years – all because they are trying to sort things out themselves.” Attorney Rowdy G. Williams says. “This is unfortunate because a good lawyer can usually help you avoid these scenarios. You can’t be too cheap or proud to hire a lawyer. The consequences are too severe. “
When hiring an attorney, you are looking for an experienced family law attorney who has spent significant time handling custody cases. You need someone who is ready to fight for you, even if the situation heats up.
4. Proactively address potential problems
If there’s an issue that you think may undercut you and / or affect your chances of a positive outcome in your custody process, take a proactive approach. Don’t sit back and hope it doesn’t come. In any case, don’t hide it from your lawyer.
Your ex-spouse’s legal department will reveal absolutely everything. If you have said or done anything in the past that could be used against you, it will be. So it’s better to stay one step ahead of these things and proactively address potential pitfalls.
5. Be careful with social media
Social media should be avoided as much as possible at all costs (for your mental health). This is even more true when you are in the middle of a custody battle and divorce. Social media will do nothing but get you in trouble. Avoid posting (or checking your spouse’s profiles). Instead, spend your time taking care of yourself and being the best father you can be.
Make sure you have a plan
Every custody situation is unique. You will never find two cases with identical circumstances or outcomes. However, if you want to increase your chances of a successful outcome for you and your children, it is plan ahead wisely and follow the principles above.