The happiness and wellbeing of a child should always be at the forefront of all custody matters. Tennessee law presumes that both natural parents are the custodians of their children and the law does not favor either the mother or father.
Arrangements for custody and visitation are determined by the court and there are strategies to help you plead your case for winning custody of your child. Here is are some helpful tips to that may aid you on your way to winning custody:
Ways to Help Win Child Custody
Know What the Courts Look for in Custody Cases
Always remember that custody hearings are there for your child to be placed in the most stable and loving environment. The judge wants to know that whatever they decide is in the best interest of the child, which means the child’s physical, emotional, mental wellbeing, and needs will be met. This means you must demonstrate that you are able to provide your child with a safe and nurturing space to grow and thrive in.
Make sure you are encouraging a good relationship with your co-parent even though the two of you are no longer together. This helps defeat the notion of the ever so popular “blame game” in court hearings and shows you can be a mature adult about your split from your partner when it comes to the child’s best interest.
Prove Your Credibility
Going into the court hearings with a bad attitude or anger towards your ex will only hurt your case and your credibility toward being a responsible legal guardian for your child. Remember, the judge doesn’t know anything you do not tell him or show them, so be on your best behavior and leave any petty arguments outside of the courtroom. The hearing is about your child’s welfare and should be looked at very seriously.
Having credible testimony with examples and proof is important, as well as a calm demeanor, appropriate dress for the court, and an overall pleasant disposition will go a long way in helping you be successful in the custody hearing.
Document Any Detrimental Behaviors from Your Ex
Again, staying as far away from the childish “blame game” as you can, you should still document any behaviors your ex exhibits which could hurt your child’s mental, physical or emotional wellbeing. If your ex forgets to pick your child up from school, disregards birthdays, drinks or smokes in front of the child excessively, or generally ignores the responsibilities of being a good parent, make sure to document and bring these issues up to the court. The judge will look at what is actually detrimental to your child from these notes and they could help swing the custody battle in your favor.
Invest in a Good Lawyer
It is best to have an experienced attorney present to aid you on your way to winning custody. Not having legal help can hurt your case, especially if your ex does have a lawyer. There are many rights and options available to you that you may not know about that a lawyer can help you with and they can also speak on your behalf to the judge and overall plead your case in a way that the judge understands and responds well to.
Have a Parenting Plan
The courts require you to have a parenting plan for when you go to court for custody. At your first court hearing, you will be given documents pertaining to the parenting plan and if you cannot agree on a parenting plan with your ex, you must fill out a joint parenting plan and give it to the judge to oversee. Already having schooling, housing and parenting plans for your child broken down and ready to share with the court will help show the judge you’ve been thinking about this outside of court and that you are going the extra mile for your child.
Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones With a Family Law Attorney
It’s important to be aware of this year’s revisions and how they may affect you. If you have questions about child support or child custody, contact experienced family law attorney Hunter Fowler.
Hunter has experience handling the most delicate of child custody and child support cases, including those involving divorce, unwed parents, and questionable paternity and he’s dedicated to fighting for you and your family.