The best situation that divorcing parents can hope for is an amicable friendship where the best interests of their kids are considered at every part of the journey. Unfortunately, in the real world, that just isn't always the case, and sometimes a divorcing parent may feel that the other parent is unfit or not suited to share custody. If you think that you may need to gear up for a custody battle, see a child custody lawyer as soon as you are even considering a divorce, and start taking these proactive tips to put the odds better in your favor when it comes to child custody.
Tip #1: Document Things Better Than a Private Detective
If you are worried about your children being left in the care of your soon-to-be ex, be sure to document any incidents that disturb you. Start a journal where you record any incidents with a detailed description, always writing the date, time, and location of any incident. If there were any witnesses, log their names as well, and get their contact information if you don't know them personally. Be thorough and document far more than you think you will ever need to use.
Tip #2: Collect Any Evidence of Spousal or Child Abuse
If your spouse is abusive to you or your children, documenting as stated above is very important. More important than anything else, it's important to get out of the situation immediately if you or your children are being abused. You should also go to the doctor if you or your children are currently injured from the abuse and try to get records of past instances of abuse that have resulted in injury.
Tip #3: Report the Facts of the Case to Your Lawyer
Speak to your child custody lawyer about any issues that may make your spouse neglectful with your children or a possible danger in the eyes of the law. For example, you should let your lawyer know if your spouse has ever been convicted of child abuse in the past and if your spouse is required to register as a sex offender. Also, if your spouse has moved on and is living with someone who has been convicted of child abuse, that can also be a factor that the court considers when deciding on custody.
Tip #4: Ensure as Much Stability for the Child as Possible
If possible, try to ensure that you are the spouse that stays in the home where the child has been living. You want to present a stable home for your child for their own well-being, of course, and presenting your child with a stable home environment where they can continue to attend the same school and be involved in the local community is important. While that's not always possible, it's important to try for that.
Finally, keep in mind that the divorce is going to be challenging for every member of the family, especially the children, and it's important to try to comfort them as much as possible through this difficult time. Try to avoid badmouthing another parent as much as possible and focus on the positives of why you want custody when they ask about the situation. Presenting the situation in a way that shows how much both parents love them is the best thing for the well-being. For more information or assistance, contact a divorce attorney, like William Kirby, Family Law Attorney.