Being caught up in divorce proceedings can be a very stressful experience for a couple, even when the divorce is amicable. If you have an amicable divorce, the issues of child custody can usually be managed by mutual agreement, without a lot of difficulty or disagreement. When a divorce is bitter and filled with spite, however, the issue of who gets custody of the children can become a major battleground. If you find yourself involved in this kind of situation, there are some things that you can do to help make it more certain that you will be able to win out in your struggle to be given custody of your children.
- Make certain that you don’t expose your children to environments that are unhealthy, or that could prove harmful. If you are a smoker, by all means, stop! If stopping is totally impossible (that is, if cigarettes are more important to you than your children), then at the very least, you must never smoke when they are around. Not only is it extremely bad for their health, but it can provide a very powerful weapon for your former spouse to use during the hearings.
- If you are involved in a new relationship, be very discreet when it comes to open displays of affection with your new paramour. This is important for two reasons: first, it can be upsetting for your children, who still may have strong feelings of loyalty to your former spouse. Second, the courts usually frown on it when children are being exposed to an overly sexual or sensual environment. You also need to insure that you are spending enough time with your children, and not short-changing them to spend time with your new companion.
- Give adequate consideration to where your children want to live. You should know what their preference is, even if it is not with you. If your children have a strong preference for living with your former partner, insisting on gaining custody of them can be both futile, and damaging to your future relationship with them, if you pursue it. The only exception to this warning is in situations where you have legitimate concerns for their safety if they remain with your ex – and even then, you must be prepared for a backlash from the children if you prevail.
- Be fully involved, as much as possible, in the lives of your children during the entire duration of the custody process. Doing this will cast you in the most favorable light in the eyes of the Court. If you seem to have abandoned your children to the care of your former spouse, you will most likely lose your custody battle.
- Do your everything possible to hire a very competent attorney who can really help you with your custody case. An attorney who holds your best interests as a top priority will be your best ally in your quest for custody of your children. Unfortunately, finding that kind of attorney is often a real gamble. As a result, you need to have another resource at your disposal, one that can provide an alternative source of important information and advice to help you win your case. That way, if your attorney turns out to be indifferent, and simply interested in collecting fees while doing as little actual work as possible, you will have another source of help. Another type of situation that will often arise with an attorney is that they are simply not able to keep up with all the relevant psychological and legal theories, the kinds of evidence, and the types of allegations that will work (or will fail to work) in the courtroom. Having one of these up-to-date Guides can prevent those problems.
The best way to get your hands on this kind of important support information is to obtain a Custody Guide that is written by real experts in the field. Experts who specialize in Child Custody have the experience and know-how to compile the needed information, keep it current, and present it in a way that makes it possible for a lay person to comprehend it, and use it, effectively. There are a number of sources for this type of guide that will help you navigate your way through the often confusing legal landscape that is Child Custody. The links in the resource box will provide further information.