Keeping active in your child’s life after a traumatic experience such as a divorce is imperative to the livelihood and future of your children. In lieu of these life challenges, if you are wishing to file for child custody, understanding the process and what will be needed from you is important to know. Being prepared will ensure the best possible outcome and keep stress levels low while your family is coping with the changes that are taking place around them.
There are 2 types of custody that are common among divorcing couples:
Joint custody means that both parents have rights to make major decisions about the child. Both parents are custodial parents and equal responsibilities to contributing physically and financially to the child’s life.
Sole custody is an arrangement where the primary caregiver becomes the sole custodial parent in charge of all decisions and responsibilities in the child’s life. The other parent may or may not be granted visitation based upon various factors.
The role of the judge is to make a decision in the best interest of the child. Before you will be granted visitation, the judge will want to ensure that you are providing a safe and loving environment for your children.
The court will want to know more about you and the following conditions. However, consulting with your attorney is the best way to find out how to organize and present your information.
HAVE NO VIOLENT CRIMINAL RECORD
This include domestic violence, assault, battery and also various weapons charges. Of course cases will be measured individually, if your record is blemished with these types of infractions, consider therapy, training or counseling to show the court that you are rehabilitated and making efforts to move forward. Talk to your attorney on how to best present this information in your case.
MAINTAIN A SAFE HOME ENVIRONMENT
Continuing with the court’s primary desire to provide the best situation for the children, be sure to have proof of housing and be prepared to share information on your neighborhood or surrounding community if asked.
If you have recently been out of work, bring your W-2s or check stubs as evidence of consistent employment. The court will want to be sure that parents are capable of providing the necessities for their children as a part of their decision in granting visitation.