What You Do Today Could Make A Difference In Your Child’s Life For Years To Come
There are all kinds of lawsuits and many aspects to divorce, but a child custody case is unique. Unlike other disputes between two parties, child custody is all about the future of someone who is neither the plaintiff nor the defendant. The outcome of the case will profoundly impact, for years to come, the lives of the parents and their children and the relationships between all three.
But one thing that a child custody case shares with other matters is the need for thorough, thoughtful preparation. An El Paso County judge tasked with deciding a child’s fate will look at every detail of the child’s life, everything the parents do and say, and every aspect of how they act, live, and treat their child and each other. A parent engaged in a child custody argument must work closely with their family law attorney to put their best foot forward and be in the strongest position to obtain what they want for themselves and their child.
If you are embroiled in a contentious child custody battle, here are eight tips to remember in the months leading up to a hearing or trial about you and your child’s future.
Don’t Go Into Your Child Custody Case Alone
The laws governing child custody matters in Colorado are complicated and nuanced. The evidentiary rules and courtroom procedures involved in these cases are equally complex. And the number of fatal mistakes you can make before and during a child custody hearing is almost infinite. If you try to fight a custody battle alone, you are setting yourself up to lose.
When choosing a Colorado Springs child custody lawyer, make sure you choose an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. Your lawyer can educate you about the law, prepare you for what’s to come and keep you from making errors that could torpedo your case. In court, your lawyer will be your ally and advocate and know how to persuade the judge to rule in your favor.
Maintain a Co-Parenting Attitude
Unless the other parent is entirely unfit or poses a danger to the child’s well-being, most judges in child custody cases want both parents to maintain a positive, involved relationship with their child. They also don’t want a child to be burdened with parents who can’t work together to protect their child’s best interests, even if they can’t otherwise get along.
Demonstrating your willingness to cooperate with your co-parent is crucial in a child custody case. Keep communication civil and respectful with your co-parent, and focus on creating a cooperative and functional co-parenting relationship.
Document Your Involvement In Your Child’s Life
One way to bolster your child custody case is by documenting your involvement in your child’s life. Keep records of school involvement, medical appointments, extracurricular activities, and any other significant aspects of your child’s life that you are actively participating in.
Save text messages, emails, or other forms of communication with your co-parent, witnesses who can attest to your parenting abilities, and any relevant documents, such as school or medical records.
This documentation can demonstrate to an El Paso County judge your fitness as a parent and commitment to your child’s well-being.
Maintain a Stable Home Environment For Your Child
Stability is a significant factor in child custody decisions. Ensure that your living environment is stable and suitable for your child. By providing a safe and comfortable home, a consistent daily routine, and access to necessary resources such as healthcare, education, and positive and healthy extracurricular activities, you can build a strong case for child custody.
Put Your Child’s Needs First
A judge will decide custody based on your children’s best interests. You should make decisions through the same lens, prioritizing your child’s needs, safety, and well-being ahead of other concerns. Be attentive to their emotional and psychological needs, and reassure them that you love and support them and always will, regardless of the case outcome.
Comply with Court Orders
In many cases, a judge will issue temporary parenting, visitation, and support orders while the matter remains pending. Such orders may limit your rights or impact your relationship with your child in ways you may find uncomfortable or objectionable. Very few things anger judges more than their orders being ignored—or worse, violated. Compliance with these court orders is crucial to your parenting rights. If you do not comply, the judge may hold your conduct against you as they consider the many factors involved in child custody decisions.
Be Careful With Social Media
Anything you say or post on social media can and will be used against you in your custody case. Before you post any comments or photos online, imagine how they would look to a judge considering your parental fitness and your arguments in the case. If you wouldn’t want the judge to see the post, do not publish it.
Keep Your Emotions In Check
Emotions can run high during a child custody case, and feeling stressed, anxious, or angry is natural. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist to help you cope with these emotions in a healthy way. Maintaining emotional stability is essential to making rational decisions that are in your child’s best interests.
Need Help With a Child Custody Case? Call Colorado Springs Child Custody Attorneys at Perkins Law Today
Nothing is more important than your child, and few things are as crucial to your child’s future as the outcome of your child custody case. The Colorado Springs child custody lawyers at Perkins Law are ready to protect you, your child, and your relationship with them in even the most contentious custody disputes. Please contact us today to arrange for your free initial consultation.