08 Aug Tips for Winning your Child Custody Case in California
Children are the main losers when their parents’ divorce, but child custody laws allow the child to benefit from both parents being active participants in the life of their child. Sadly, the reality surrounding child custody cases can get ugly. The ultimate goal is to minimize hurt feelings and make the welfare of your child a priority.
Below are some important tips to consider (and apply), if you find yourself battling for the custody of your children in the state of California:
- Do not say anything bad about the other parent or their relatives in front of the child. Many times, these types of negative comments will be internalized, and taken personally by the child.
- Strive to boost the self-esteem of your child, and if you have more than one child, do not compare one to the other. They are all uniquely special, and should be treated as such.
- Be ready to prove that you have empathy toward your children, and be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge of the physical and mental needs of each of your children.
- If you use recreational drugs, stop immediately. Even if you have never used recreational drugs in front of your children, having drug paraphernalia in your home could be used as damaging evidence against you in court and your custody/visitation may be revoked.
- Spend as much time as you can with your children. For instance, do not drop them off at a relative’s home, when it is your scheduled visitation time.
- Keep detailed records, which details when the child is with you, pick up and drop off times (as well as, who is the person dropping off and picking up your child) and activities that your child participated in, while with you. Keep these recorded records in a safe place that is away from your children.
- Make a note of each check number, date, and amount (whether you are receiving or paying child support). These records, more often than not, will become necessary to present in a court of law.
- Keep your driving record clean, and be aware of the driving record of anyone that drives your children.
- Make sure your home is child-safe, according to the child’s age. Unless it is vital to your employment, it is advised to not have guns or ammunition in your home. If necessary, keep them securely locked in a safe that is inaccessible to children.
- Keep your home clean, and free of clutter and litter, as this can be used against you in a court of law, regarding custody of your child.
- Do not encourage your child to call anyone (new spouse, for example) other than their parents, “mom” & “dad”, as this may appear to the court that you are trying to replace the other parent.
Know your children’s doctors, teachers, coaches & counselors. Attend parent/teacher conferences, and as many school functions as possible. Speak with your child custody attorney for more advice.