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Tips for Handling a Custody Battle

Whether you're going through a divorce or navigating a paternity case, getting involved in a child custody battle can be nervewracking. The outcome of a custody case can set the tone for parent-child interactions and family dynamics going forward, so knowing what to expect from your custody case is vital.

The more you know going into your case, the better prepared you'll be to advocate for a custody arrangement that helps you and your child thrive.

Making a Good Impression on the Court Should be Your Priority

Many parents have difficulty dealing with custody battles due to the discrepancy between how the court sees parents and how parents see themselves.

The judge presiding over your case doesn't have the emotional attachment to your child that you do. They aren't there to watch you take your kids to their soccer game or wake up early to make them a great breakfast. They don't see the sacrifices you make.

You can put your parenting efforts down in paper and have your attorney relay them to the court, but how the judge sees you behave in the courtroom plays a huge role in your custody case. The more magnanimously you act in the courtroom, the better your chances are of getting a favorable result from the judge.

Try to Compromise with Your Co-Parent

Negotiating with your co-parent may be difficult, especially if you're estranged. But you should consider discussing terms with your co-parent for a few reasons:

  • It will impress the court. This ties back into our first point. The court's priority in any custody battle is your child's best interests, and yours should be the same. Getting into personal fights with your co-parent will only redirect attention to you and reflect poorly on your priorities. Trying to compromise with your ex and establish an equitable custody arrangement shows the court that you're trying to do what's best for your children, even if it's hard.
  • You develop a better co-parenting relationship. Putting your best foot forward with your co-parent can help make your relationship more amicable, which your child will appreciate—especially if you plan on sharing custody.
  • You can resolve your custody case out of court. If you and your ex can jointly draft and sign a custody arrangement, the court may not have to get involved other than to approve your joint parenting plan. Resolving your custody dispute out of court can allow you to get a more equitable arrangement than relying on a judge.

Document Evidence Meticulously

The more evidence you have supporting your capabilities as a parent, the better. Additionally, if you believe your child's other parent is unfit to act as a caregiver and want to obtain sole or majority custody of your child, having evidence to back up those allegations is essential.

Speak to your custody attorney. They can help you gather and document evidence and work with you to effectively present it to the court.

An Evaluation May Help Your Case

A custody evaluation may help reinforce your capabilities as a parent to the judge or reveal issues with the other parent of which you don’t have clear proof. The evauluations may take a few different forms, but all involve a more in-depth look at the parties and the circumstances.

At Bremer Whyte Brown & O'Meara, we can help you protect your parental rights and pursue the best outcome for your child in your custody battle.

Contact us online or via phone at (949) 229-8546 to learn more.