A divorce can be one of the most stressful events a person can undergo. However, you shouldn’t feel any guilt for being involved in a divorce. Statistics show that, in the United States, 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce, while 60% of second marriages will suffer this same fate. What you do need to do is be prepared, especially when the custody of a child is up for grabs in a divorce. Statistics show that 90% of mothers who were divorced obtained custody of their children. Here are four tips to follow if you find yourself facing a custody battle.
- Have the Proper Paperwork – This sounds a bit obvious but emotions running high could have your brain in a wildly different state. Take time to ensure that you have prepared and filed all documents necessary to allow you to participate in a custody battle. You don’t want the person you are battling against to win because you didn’t allow yourself the proper time to prepare and complete every document you needed to have. Working with a family law team will ensure that you have someone to help you with documents needed for the custody proceedings of your state.
- Choose the Right People for Supporting Your Statements – In custody battles, it is very likely that witnesses to how good of a parent you are will be called up to the stand. In these critical moments, the last thing you want is for that witness to talk bad about you or good about the other party. When selecting those people that will defend you, it is wise to choose reputable and upstanding members of society. For instance, if you know anyone that works with children, including them as someone to speak about your strengths as parent can play incredibly well. Remember, the party you are up against will work to have every bad thing you’ve done at the ready, which brings us to the next tip.
- Be Prepared to Defend Every Mistake – In especially nasty custody battles, any incident or situation is fair game. Think back on any incident that you think might be called into question. Whether it be a domestic disturbance or a simple speeding ticket, prepare to have your entire life up for grabs in a custody battle. After you’ve determined what could be brought up, start working on what you are going to say to defend yourself. Having a lawyer, especially during this stage in a custody battle, can greatly save your case and help you to win custody.
- Not Enlisting the Help of a Lawyer – Don’t represent yourself in a custody battle. It is likely that the other party will have a trained professional to help their case, so should you seek a professional to represent you. Someone with a firm grasp of laws will be your finest aid in a tough time with so much on the line. In addition, upwards of 79% of custodial mothers receive the award of child support, while less than 30% of fathers obtain custody. Especially if you are the father, you can’t afford to not be represented by a lawyer.
In closing, there are many mistakes that can end a custody battle prematurely. You’ll want to have all documents needed to enter a custody battle prepared and filed. Choosing the right team of people to support your claims as a great parent are very important. It is preferable that you have people support you that you have known well and for a considerable amount of time. In addition, if you trying to narrow down a list of witnesses, try to select those in a field that often works with children. The tables might soon turn on you, when you are in the hot seat by the other party. Don’t worry about being grilled about your mistakes but do prepare explanations and what you will do to improve those bad behaviors, going forward. Finally, do not try and represent yourself in a custody battle. Instead, call an attorney who is skilled in these proceedings to help you win your custody battle.