When attempting to win a custody battle, there are steps you must take to maximize your chances of success. This applies whether you’re seeking a sole or joint custody arrangement. Speak to your child custody lawyer if you have any concerns. An experienced family law attorney in Houston can help you determine the best approach to take in your case.
Ask a Family Law Attorney in Houston: What Will Help Win a Child Custody Battle?
1. Focus on the Child’s Best Interests
The court bases the custody arrangement on your child’s best interests. Parents usually put their child’s interests ahead of their own, too. However, in the heat of a custody battle, it’s understandable that you may slip up and begin acting based on your own interests instead.
Take a step back, try to calm your mind a little, and take time to consider if what you’re fighting for is actually in the best interests of your child. Taking the time to clear your mind will help you get back on track and put your child first.
2. Work With an Experienced Child Custody Lawyer
It’s almost impossible to navigate a custody battle without an experienced family law attorney. Your attorney will be your point of contact for all questions you have during your case. Your attorney wants the best outcome for your entire family, and they want to keep your expectations realistic throughout your custody battle. If you’re getting close to making a mistake that could harm your case, then your attorney will let you know.
Your attorney will give you advice, deal with paperwork, act as an unbiased third party when issues arise, and more. For more information, click here.
3. Communicate Openly With the Other Parent
You may have a poor relationship with your former spouse. However, you need to set your emotions and differences aside for the sake of your child. Communicate openly with your former partner about what you want and expect out of the custody arrangement. Ensure the other partner understands your reasoning regarding the custody arrangement you’re seeking.
If you’re uncomfortable speaking to your former spouse, or if you can’t speak to them without fighting, then your communications should be done through your attorneys. To make sure everything goes smoothly, it would be best if you and your former spouse only discussed custody-related issues with your attorneys present.
4. Address All Issues Honestly
You need to be honest about any issues that could be harmful to your case. If you live in poor accommodations but you’re seeking joint custody, then tell your attorney that you’re aware of the issues with your home and share how you’re trying to fix the problems.
If you have low income, then acknowledge that it could be a problem. Speak to your attorney about how you plan to financially support your child through getting a new job, using child support payments from the other parent, and so on. Showing that you know you have issues and you’re willing to work on them reflects well on you.
5. Be Cautious on Social Media
Every aspect of your life will be evaluated and taken into consideration during a custody battle. You must exercise caution online. Don’t post anything that could make you seem like an irresponsible parent.
Don’t share details of your custody battle or your divorce online. Don’t speak negatively about your former partner, and don’t use social media as a place to vent your frustrations. Maintaining a clean image is key when going through a custody battle.
6. Be a Positive Part of Your Child’s Life
Custody battles can feel as though they’re taking over your entire life. They may make it feel like you’re too mentally exhausted to do anything enjoyable with your child. However, continue to be a positive part of your child’s life as much as possible. Make your child feel loved and heard, and do things with them that they enjoy.
Be positively engaged in their life as much as you can to show your child that you care regardless of what’s going on during the custody battle. Spending quality time with your child and being an attentive parent during a custody battle is beneficial for your child’s mental health and your custody case.
7. Think Forward
Sometimes custody arrangements need to be revisited months or even years down the line. Keep all of these tips in mind going forward. Always be positively engaged in your child’s life, avoid posting things that reflect poorly on you online, and be civil with your former spouse when you see them.
Everyone involved wants your custody battle to have a positive outcome for your child. Be careful with your words and actions, and always put your child’s best interests above your own.