How To Increase The Likelihood of Winning Custody During Your Divorce
A custody battle over children can be devastating and emotional, but it’s a necessity some parents have to get through to gain the big payoff. If a parent has to fight for the kids, however, being prepared is vital one’s chances of winning custody. The parent has to show the courts he or she is capable of providing the best environment for a child. In deciding custody, judges consider factors like the parents’ health, the living arrangement, the child’s emotional attachment, or any evidence of neglect. However, judges also look at the parents’ conduct in court. While a parent may not be able to control some circumstances, they can best control their own behavior and conduct in court. Here are ways to increase your chances of winning custody during the divorce.
- Show the courts that you always put your child’s need first.
Divorce can bring up a lot of negative feelings. It can cloud your outlook in life and likely send you in a pit of depression. However, as challenging as this may seem, putting your kids’ needs and well-being first may help with your healing process and gain favor with the courts. Focus on raising and spending time with your children, as well as maintaining their routines as normal as possible. Be there for special moments like school plays, sporting events and birthday parties.
Instead of getting caught up in a bitter situation with your ex, talk to your lawyer about the best options for the children. The courts will look at your situation favorably when you learn to distance your emotions about the divorce and consider the child first. This shows the judge that you’re aiming to foster a meaningful relationship with your offspring.
- Never badmouth or discredit the other parent in front of the child.
It is the child’s inherent right to receive love and affection from their parents. As such, the parent should never do something that will alienate them from the other parent. This is underscored in Michigan’s Child Custody Act of 1970. Thus, it’s important for parents to never show rudeness or combativeness towards each other. The courts will eventually find out the truth once the judge needs to talk to the child and this could affect your chances of gaining custody.
- Make sure to follow every court order, including child support.
In some cases, the judges issue a temporary arrangement while the custody case is ongoing so make sure that you abide by these orders to prove to the courts that you’re a capable parent. Some orders might seem unfavorable to you but understand that this isn’t the final decision. You can still sway the judge to grant you a suitable custody arrangement if you show that you can follow the orders, even if it might seem unfair.
- Bring the children back to the other parent’s house at the ordered time or date.
- Don’t take the kids out of state without an expressed permission.
- Pay your child support on time.
- Keep records of your visits, support payments, and other important documents.
As much as possible, document everything to show the courts you’ve been abiding by the judges’ orders. If the child is temporarily with the other parent, have a log or a diary of the times you’ve visited and detail how you spent this with the child. Keep the receipts of any financial assistance you’ve extended to your ex-spouse and the kids.
- If you can, avoid making the big move that may negatively affect your child.
A parent who has to relocate out of state will make the courts hesitant to grant a favorable custody arrangement. Uprooting the child to a new school might impact his or her social wellbeing. The courts might also see that it will be harder for the child to have a healthy relationship with the parent who lives so far away.
The reality, however, is that there are several cases where the parent has to move to a different state for a new job or to be closer to his or her family members. Under the courts in Michigan, divorced parents asking for custody of their children are ideally expected not to change their permanent residence.
Court permission might be required for the parent who has to move 100 miles away from their current home. The judge, however, may grant custody to the relocating parent after evaluation if the new permanent residence improves the child’s quality of life.
- Give your child a good space in your new house.
The courts will look into the living conditions of the divorced parents to see if it’s adequate. No matter how small your new place is, however, you should provide the child with his own private and comfortable space. The courts will see if the parent has made an effort to prepare a suitable living space for the child and it will matter to the custody case’s final decision.
- Don’t introduce a new man or woman in your life too soon after the divorce.
A child needs time to adjust to the new living situation and introducing a new man or new woman too soon could make things more complicated. It will also reflect on the parent poorly and create conflicts with the other parent. So, it’s never a good idea to bring the new boyfriend or girlfriend if the child is still getting used to the idea that he or she has to live in two houses.
Seek a Family Lawyer in Michigan Today
If you’d like to win a child custody case, you could significantly impact your chances if you have good lawyers on your side. Our divorce lawyers at The Clark Law Office in Michigan can be your best ally. Give us a call at +1 (517) 347-6900 for an appointment.