How do I win a contested child custody case?
Imagine being embroiled in a contested child custody case. You feel like you are a loving parent who can give your children everything they need and more, but you also know you don’t have total control over how the case will unfold. Not knowing is driving you nuts, and you’ve even gone online and searched, “How do I win a contested child custody case?”
Sadly, there isn’t a definitive answer out there. Ultimately, the court decides who has custody and what periods of possession the other parent will enjoy. But there are a few things you can do to put yourself in the best possible position.
The first thing to realize is that you never want to make the situation worse. A contested child custody case can quickly become the most contentious type of civil action. After all, you are fighting for what you firmly believe in. And so is your former spouse. Many times, parents lose sight of the bigger picture. They cause a scene that makes them look worse in the eyes of the judge and creates a family rift that will be hard to overcome.
Here are just a few things that can go wrong
- Your children lose trust in one or both parents
- Your custody rights can be denied or severely limited
- You end up spending more money on court costs and attorney fees
So how do you win a contested child custody case?
Hopefully, you’ve already retained an attorney with experience in all matters of family law. Doing so ensures you are not alone in what can be a complicated process. A lawyer also helps you manage the myriad of emotions that include everything from anxiety and frustration to anger and heartbreaking sadness.
Once you have a lawyer in your corner, here are a few tips to help you win your case:
Keep your emotions in check
Be courteous to the judge, your attorney — and even your former spouse. With any family law case, it’s easy to lose control of your emotions, so be mindful of facial expressions, petty side comments, and showing disinterest in the case.
Keep your kids out of it
Your mind will undoubtedly be on finding ways to prove to the court that you are the best choice to have your kids live with you on a primary basis. You may also think it’s a good idea to talk openly about the case with your kids. But it’s important to treat the entire proceeding as an adult situation and keep your kids out of it. In most contested custody cases court Orders are entered that preclude you from discussing the case with your kids and/or asking your kids who they want to live with. Further, there is no need to involve the kids in anything that is going on or to use them as a potential pawn to give yourself an advantage in the case.
Arrive on time to court and visitations
Showing up late to anything during this period in your life raises questions about your commitment. Arriving early (at least 45 minutes to an hour before your case is heard) speaks well to your character, the importance you’ve placed on this case, and the respect you have for the judge, your kids, your former spouse, and everyone else involved.
Show a willingness to work with your former spouse
In Texas, the law favors co-parenting after divorce. Regardless of what may or may not happen in the custody case, you must show that you can work together moving forward. As we’ve said before, while divorce ended your married relationship, a new one will spring from it. You will both need to work harder at this new relationship for your children.
Don’t talk negatively about your former spouse
Be honorable when it comes to your former spouse in front of your children and the court. People respect those who respect their former spouse. Kids ultimately respect the parent who honors and respects their ex and the parent-child relationship.
Know the ins and outs of your case
We’re not suggesting that you need to be able to do your lawyer’s job. But it’s important to ask all the appropriate questions ahead of time so that you understand your case, the likelihood of winning, and your role in having the best possible outcome. Understanding your case also helps when it comes time to answer questions for the judge.
Allow your lawyer to take the wheel
If you want to win your case, you need to make sure you let your lawyer take the front seat and do the work for you. Sure, there is prep work that you can do to eliminate unnecessary costs and make their jobs easier, but allow your lawyer the opportunity to develop a case strategy in consultation with you.
Call Nelson Law Group today!!
It is imperative to have an experienced lawyer in your corner for anything family law related. Nelson Law Group, PC has represented people in contested custody cases for more than 20 years. We have the knowledge and the experience to help guide you through the complexities that will arise in your case. Contact us today to arrange for a free initial consultation to see if we are the lawyer you need to represent you in your divorce.