Child custody orders are included in divorce agreements and define which party has primary custody of their children and how visitation is scheduled. A custody dispute emerges when the former couple is unable to reach an agreement. Seeking the counsel of an attorney shows you what options you have to resolve these conflicts.
Hire An Attorney
Advice from an attorney is helpful when battling a child custody dispute, and a lawyer represents you in court. Clarification about related laws and actions to take helps create an effective plan to try to settle the case.
The attorney negotiates with the former spouse to find out what terms are applicable and mitigates arguments that might derail the entire case. If you are unclear about your next move because of a custody dispute, an attorney may guide you to a more suitable solution.
Focus on the Child’s Interests
Family law doesn’t have a statute or standard to measure, “the best interests of a child,” but a guardian ad litem helps the child express their wishes about where they want to live. Judges try to set up joint child custody arrangements to be fair to both parties, but some circumstances present dangers to the child.
The most suitable living arrangement for a child offers financial and emotional support. There aren’t any hostilities, and the child has a safer living environment. Judges render decisions according to the mental well-being of the child, and if sole child custody is required, the judge reviews all evidence from both parties.
Create A Parenting Plan That Is Equal
A parenting plan highlights visitation with the child between both parties, and all responsibilities of each parent are explained. In a joint custody arrangement, the custodial parent has the child a majority of the time, and the noncustodial parent gets visitation. A parenting plan doesn’t have to fit within some predetermined mold, and the parents have the opportunity to set up a schedule that works for them both.
Play an Active Role in Your Child’s Life
Each parent must play an active role in their child’s life, and a joint custody arrangement gives both parties decision-making power. A parent that travels for work or who is in the military may need an alternative parenting time to give them more time with their child.
Their availability affects their ability to set up a more standard visitation schedule. In a custody dispute, these are factors that judges consider. It’s important for each parent to have time with the child to maintain a healthy and consistent parent-child relationship.
Do Not Discuss Your Custody Case or Your Former Spouse Publicly
Social media is terrific for staying connected to family and your children, but it should never become a tool to air dirty laundry or to initiate hostilities against a former spouse. Judges assess parents based on their ability to provide a loving home for the child.
It can hurt either party’s case if they are posting derogatory statements about their former spouse, playing the blame game, or engaging in public arguments. Social media is in the public domain, and posts could be used against either party.
Child custody disputes require careful negotiations and level-heads. Former spouses who cannot reach an agreement on child custody may attend a supplemental custody hearing. Both parties must be prepared for the case and find healthier ways to end the dispute. Are you fighting for child custody? Look to a legal representative to help you.