The best-case scenario when divorcing is for both parents of a minor-aged child to agree on custody arrangements. This not only saves money and time taking the issue to court but is an all-around better way to deal with divorce. Unfortunately, this is one of those areas that can become hotly contested and cause even the most reasonable of people to act using their emotions instead of their brains. Read on for some things to keep in mind during your contested child custody situation to raise your chances for getting the parenting plan you think is best for your child.
You are under a microscope
This is no time to forget yourself; everything you do can be targeted, misunderstood and misconstrued by your spouse's lawyers in an attempt to make you look like an unfit parent. With that in mind:
1. Avoid posting to social media during your divorce. Even innocent posts about the situation could be used against you, and nothing is really private when you consider that the other side has the ability to subpoena your "private" postings.
2. Avoid conflict with your children. Their lives have already been upended by the divorce, and anything that can be addressed later on should be. Not only will this create less stress, but it will also give your spouse one less issue to bring up in court. For example, don't move them to a different school or suddenly decide that they should be following a different religion. Remember that older children are sometimes interviewed for their opinions on custody.
3. Be wary of new relationships. It's natural to want to move on, but this can be seen negatively by the other side and exploited in court. Be particularly careful about moving in with a new partner and allowing the children to spend time with them before the divorce is final.
Take an offensive stance
When you know you are the best parent for the job, then the reasons why you feel this way are key. You spouse's life is under a microscope as well, and just being defensive may not be enough. With that in mind:
1. If you have evidence to suggest that your spouse is not a good parent, bring it forth. Be sure you keep the focus on the best interests of the child, which is what the family courts make a priority.
2. Don't hesitate to use family members, friends, school personnel, neighbors, and more to bolster your case. The more people at the ready to testify that your spouse is not fit for custody, the better. In some cases where the spouse's bad habits have affected others, even their own family may be willing to testify against them when it comes to the well-being of the child.
Speak to a child custody lawyer for more ideas on how to fight for custody of your child.