Even as divorce is a painful and emotional process, there is no other legal battle that is fought with extreme acrimony, disagreement, and despair than child custody. Unfortunately, as your once-happy marriage is festooned with a final breakdown, many courts' calendars are cluttered up with child custody cases. Both parents and the court are troubled, day in day out, with what is downright spot-on for the beleaguered child. The only individual, who can decide what is faultlessly right for the innocent child, is a sober judge.
As a parent, you are possibly focused on the likelihood of relinquishing quality time with your child as enshrined in terms of your divorce. Moreover, families are different, especially concerning where a child will live and how their time will be shared between the parents. Typically, some courts necessitate that one parent pays for child support so that the parent with primary custody is not left exclusively responsible for the child’s basic needs. But, above all, you need to know a lot more about how to get child custody.
Child custody is a legal terminology concerning a child’s guardianship that is applied when describing the legal and real-world relationship between a child and the parent. This may also include a guardian who takes care of the child or children. Child custody often involves legal custody that is defined as the right to decide the welfare of the child. It also may include physical custody that is defined as the right and responsibility of housing or providing primary care and protection to a child.
A married couple typically has joint legal as well as physical custody of a child or children. Any decisions surrounding child custody often come up during divorce proceedings or separation, marriage termination, child adoption, or the death of parents. Whatever the case, child custody is always argued in favor of the child – the child's best interests.
If you file for child custody, your primary objective is to win. You, definitely, do all it takes to increase the chances of the judge, making you the custodial parent. You need to present your side of the story that will go a long way to increase your chances of child custody. But the question is: where will you start?
Here are the most fundamental steps to help you on how to get child custody:
You must study the child custody laws in your state as they may differ across states. Even if you are working with the most qualified lawyers in town, always ensure that you understand a thing or two about the laws surrounding your child custody case. Many cities have self-help centers and family law facilitators to help those with general child custody questions and needs on how to get child custody. Ask a family lawyer plenty of questions to ensure that you know everything involved.
While it may not be compulsory to have a lawyer by your side, you can give yourself an added advantage by having an experienced child custody attorney by your side. An expert family lawyer will always help you to digest the complexities of your child custody case. Family lawyers put you in the best picture of your situation, further helping you to lift the legwork and will help you throughout your child custody process.
One of the primary factors to consider before embarking on filing for child custody is filling all the required forms to avoid any delays before the D-day. Ensure that you have not left out any boxes pertaining to your case. On the same note, confirm that you have provided sufficient information. Find out whether your state necessitates the notarization of your application. You can speak with your child custody attorney for assistance on all this.
Many states require that you should file the forms of your child custody personally. However, if you decide to work with a child custody attorney, you can file with their help. Your attorney will advise as well as assist you with the guidelines of the form-filling. Depending on your case and where your child or children are residing for the required amount of time to qualify for residency, you may need to file in a court different than the one you are living near. Also, if there is a pre-existing order in place that affects custody or guardianship of your child or children, you may need to file in the court this order is originally out of. Speak with a family law attorney for advice on any of these related multi-jurisdiction issues.
Preparing for the court date is exceedingly crucial. You must prepare for this day properly to increase your chances of a positive outcome. In some cases, the hearing may last for a mere 15 minutes, especially if it is the initial hearing, which means that you must prepare well about what you will say. Your attorney can help you to plan yourself well, for example, by helping you to put a list of pertinent issues and how to narrow them down to a robust presentation. A qualified lawyer will teach you how to cut back on your talking points.
In as much as this day is always crucial, you will be amazed at how so many parents miss this special day. If you are genuinely focused on winning your child custody, you must not miss this day of the hearing. Equally, do not come late. Plan yourself properly and come early and dress decently. These are little things that can always affect the judge’s decision. Dress for success!
You will be required to speak in court briefly. Considering that there will be no jury, you will not be worried about talking in front of a group of people. You will only need to remain calm and speak slowly and audibly. Do not worry about what your ex-spouse will say. Present all your facts right and listen keenly. Always address the judge with, Your Honor. Do not interject the judge and ensure that you answer all the answers entirely and satisfactorily. Remain patient, because in many cases, the judge's decision may not be issued on this very day. You may still need other series of appearances before the judge issues their judgment.
Finally, when the judge makes a ruling concerning your child custody case, prepare yourself to respect the decision. If you fail to get child custody, don’t worry. Remember, you will have a chance to appeal the ruling of the court later, and for sure it will pay off. In the interim, obey what the court recommends, even it is enrolling in parenting classes, securing employment, or moving into a spacious house.
No, you are not required to have a family law attorney to get child custody. However, it greatly helps to have a family law attorney who has tremendous experience with child custody issues. While you may decide to walk alone in these murky waters of how to get child custody, an adept child custody or family law attorney will help ensure that the agreements of child custody adhere to your state laws and borders on the best interests of your child.
If you want help with a child custody case you can post your request to connect with our screened family lawyers. Call (800) 390-3293 to speak with us and let us help you to plan well for your child custody case and increase your winning chances.
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