Child custody battles are perhaps the most challenging and emotionally draining matters you will ever face. The future and well-being of your children will be seriously impacted by the court’s decision. You need to ensure that you are very well prepared to fight for what is in the best interest of your children. Below, our attorneys explain the most important steps that you need to follow in order to properly prepare for child custody battles and obtain the best outcome in your case.
Hire an Experienced Family Law Attorney
An experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney can be the difference between getting what is best for your children when it comes to child custody matters. Don’t cut corners when your children’s future is at stake. Call the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich at (888) 749-7428 for an appointment to find the best advocate possible for child custody case.
Keep a Journal
There are many things that, if properly documented and brought to your attorney, could greatly benefit your chances of obtaining child custody. You need to keep track of:
How much time you spend with the children;
- What activities you are involved in with them;
- How much time the other parent spends with the children;
- Note the time the other parent is gone, when they go to work and come home, and when they travel out of town; AND
- Note any negative remarks, threats, arguments, profanities, shouting, or other behavior that could impact custody.
You’re going to want to try your best to recollect the past six months or year. Write down everything you’ve done and everything the other parent has done. Be prepared to show the court that you are an active and involved caretaker of the children, and that you deserve primary custody of your child. It would also be a good idea to bring photos or a photo album of your child showing he/she is happy in your care.
Show that You are Able to Provide for Your Children
Make sure to make the court aware of the fact that you:
- Have a job and a place to live;
- Have already been preparing for school and child care; AND
- Have community ties through extracurricular activities, volunteering at school, or through involvement at your church or synagogue, neighborhood, friends, etc.
You should also be prepared to show why the other parent is not capable of properly providing for the children. Find people who will testify about problems with your spouse’s parenting and inadequacies that would make the other parent the improper primary custodial parent.
Do Not Leave the Family Residence until You Have a Custody Arrangement
If you are planning to move out without the children, do not leave the family residence until you have a court order – or least a written agreement – that sets the custody arrangement to start when you leave the home.
Full Custody and Over-Night Visitation
Custody and visitation are decided based on what is the child’s best interest. In most cases, it is best for the child to have strong relationships with both parents. If there is nothing negative about the other parent, there’s no reason he or she can’t have overnight visitation.
Preference of the Child
While children may have an opinion as to which parent they want to reside with, children don’t get to decide. However, once a child has reached an age where they can make a knowing and intelligent decision as to which parent they would like to live with, the court may take the child’s opinion into consideration.
The older the child, the more important his or her opinion is to the court. However, the court can always rule against the child’s opinion if the court finds that living with that parent is not in the child’s best interest.
Sometimes, when the child has a stated preference, the court will appoint a minor’s counsel to interview the child about their preference and to determine how much weight it should be given.
Call our Family Law Attorneys to Prepare for Child Custody Battle
The lawyers at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience successfully representing clients facing child custody and visitation matters. We possess the knowledge of the law and the attention to detail necessary to help you obtain the best result in your case.
Our offices are located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Tustin, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville. Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will get through this together.