Child Custody Tips

Custody cases can be long arduous affairs that often end with neither party really happy with a judge’s ruling.  In order to be successful, sometimes you need to change your perspective.  Here are some tips to help you navigate a contentious custody case.

Change your Perspective

Sometimes you will have to change your perspective in order to get a favorable result.  Remember that a court is going to do what is in your child’s best interest.  You are more than likely not going to get “full custody” of your child.  That only happens if your child has been abused or neglected.  A court is going to give your ex time sharing with the child.  So prepare for that to happen and begin to consider what kind of time sharing schedule you believe will be in your child’s best interest.

Do Not Deny Timesharing

One of the worst things you can do in a contested custody case is completely deny timesharing to the other party.   The court is going to want to see that you believe the other parent should be in your child’s lives. The court wants to see that you are flexible in scheduling time sharing and that you will honor a time sharing schedule once it is implemented.  Sit down with the other parent and discuss what time sharing schedule you think is in your child’s best interest.  

Gather Documents

If you believe your custody case is headed to a contested hearing, then you will need to be prepared.  Remember that you will have to prove every allegation you make against the other parent.  If you allege any medical or psychological issues, then you will need to gather doctors and therapist records.  This is not always easy because of numerous regulations and it is best to discuss this issue with a Tampa divorce lawyer.  I always advise my clients to communicate to the other parent in writing.  That way, there is a record of any issue that arises during the pendency of the litigation.  Almost every case I see will have text messages, emails or social media messages placed into evidence.  Some other pertinent documents that may be relevant to your case include school and educational records, report cards, photographs, bank statements, employment records and criminal/police records.  

Communicate Professionally

Because so many cases involve text messages and emails, I always advise that you communicate with the other party professionally.  Refrain from negative, rude language.  Especially derogatory words or curse words.  Emotions are involved in every custody case, so I understand how difficult it can be to refrain from acting out when your ex does something you do not like.  But remember, during a custody case you’re living in a fish bowl. Anything you do can and will be used against you in court.  So always communicate with as little emotion as possible.  

A custody case can be difficult and hard to navigate.  Always discuss your concerns with a Tampa divorce attorney to be advised on the best way to conduct yourself in order to have a successful outcome.  

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Mckinney Law Group for their insight into family law.