The importance of preparation in a child custody battle cannot be emphasized enough. While it may seem that judges prefer to keep the mother and child together, this has not prevented the courts from granting the father joint custody, visitation or some form of access to the children.
As a parent, you have rights. But if you sit on them, those rights can be taken away from you. If you intend to obtain custody (sole or joint) or ample visitation rights, there are a couple of things you have to put together for your case:
- Your goal. Decide if sole custody or joint custody is best for you. Whether you go for custody or visitation, you should stand firm on your decision and build your case from there.
- Your story. A case always has two sides. Think: He said; she said. A judge can only make a determination based on what is presented before him. How you tell your story can affect a judge’s inclination of who to believe.
- Physical evidence. Judges decide the future of broken families on the basis of what is presented to them. They have the legal duty to justify their orders with provisions of law and sufficient evidence. Look around your home for photos, receipts, documents or anything that a judge can view and use as basis for a decision in your favor. Take photos of bonding time with your children. You want to demonstrate parental connection and a good one, too.
- A journal of events. Write down details of significant situations by answering basic questions of who, what, when and where. Your story will appear more credible if it is narrated in a chronological order and with accurate details.
- The best lawyer your money can buy. While it is true that expensive fees do not always guarantee the best legal services, an expert will definitely cost you some money. You may have to make some major sacrifices in order to finance your case. Recovering money that you spend on your case is possible with time and effort, but lost time with your children can never be recovered.