During a custody battle, the most common thing that gets lost is the child. It is important to first try to come to an agreement on custody with the other parent before taking the case to court. If you have tried to come to an agreement on your own and they have proven hostile and unwilling to work with you, below is a list of things you must do to better prepare yourself for a court battle.
Improve Your Parenting Skills
It's hard to evaluate yourself as a parent and face the fact that you are not perfect, but it is important to do so. Sit down with a pad of paper and list the things that you could improve on or things you should do differently when it comes to being a parent. One of the things that the courts will take into consideration is what is in the best interest of the child. If there are things in your parenting style that do not seem to be in the best interest of your child, you chances for winning custody will diminish. Honestly evaluate your skills and put forth the effort to change anything that does not benefit your child.
Tensions are very high during a divorce and, at times, it can be hard to keep quiet about the situation. However, now more than ever, it is important that you treat your estranged partner with kindness and respect. You need to remember that they are going to be fighting as well and that anything you say likely will be used against you in court. Snide remarks and hurtful comments won't only damage the emotions of your child; they will also damage you in court when it comes time for hearings. Be mindful of what you say at all times. If you feel the need to vent, call a trusted friend to be an ear to listen.
Be Completely Honest
Your lawyer, like J. Scott Braden, is there to help you, so you must be completely honest with the questions they ask. You may think that you have some skeletons in your closet that will hurt you, when the truth is that they will hurt you more by not addressing them. For instance, if you have a history of drinking, chances are that your soon-to-be ex will let their attorney know. If you don't tell your lawyer, they will find out in court and will have absolutely no way of helping you. If you disclose your tendencies to drink with your lawyer, they will be able to help put you in addiction programs and show the courts proof that you are working at bettering yourself for the benefit of your child.
A child custody case is a stressful and ugly battle. If there is no way to come to a respectful agreement, a court hearing will be necessary. By following the steps listed above, you will have a better chance of winning custody when the time comes.