Getting a divorce nowadays is common. A lot of people say that it is better to be happily divorced than in bad marriage and that’s true. However, if you are getting a divorce, but you have underage children, this complicates matters a bit.
In most cases both parents want to have the kids with them, it is widely believed that kids belong by their mother’s side. However, just because you are a mom, doesn’t guarantee you custody and guardianship, especially if the case goes to trial. While favored by the law, there are some things that you should prepare for to win a custody case.
Here are some of the valuable tips for mothers and how they can secure a child custody case victory:
Communicate where possible
Even if you do go to court, it is best to communicate what you want with your ex. Sometimes fathers might not want to fight for custody if they are allowed to see the kids often and spend some quality time with them. Keep in mind that even though you don’t see eye to eye, you both love the kids unconditionally and you want to do what’s best for them.
So, if there is any kind of agreement or progress to be made, do so, in case it benefits the children. That way, you will avoid a prolonged child custody battle and you may still get what you want.
Hiring a Lawyer
Child custody laws are different in every state and therefore, you need an expert in this field, suggests Smartlda. In such instances, a lawyer is necessary, someone who you can trust and who will present the evidence at court, granting you victory. While you can represent yourself, there’s a high chance that you might lose the battle, especially if the other party hired a good lawyer.
In child custody battles, judges will rule in favor of the children and if they see that they will be better off with the father they will not restrain themselves from making such a verdict. That’s why a good lawyer is necessary.
Sort out your Life
Before you even enter a child custody battle, make sure your life is sorted out! You need to have a stable job and a decent career, alongside with living arrangements that work for you and the kids – a house, a flat. When it comes to accommodation, judges can be flexible, but they need to see it that you have it all together. That will make it much easier to bring the verdict in your favor.
If a father has a job and you don’t and you showed a poor track record in terms of earlier employment, alongside with some potential issues with the law, don’t hope for something good to happen. Parents need to be selfless in these kinds of situations and determine what’s best for the kids even if they go against what they desire.
Know your kids well
This might sound trivial and even stupid for some, but the judge will ask you all kinds of questions about your kids. They are not that interested in what children like or dislike. What they want to realize how dedicated you are as a mother. If you know your kids well, you have nothing to worry about.
They will do the same thing with the father, questioning him to speak about the kids. That way, the judge can get an insight on how well do you know your children, which is also important when it comes to making up their mind.
Control Your Emotion
If we are talking about an ugly divorce, a lot of things are being said in the heat of the argument. Some messages are written that shouldn’t be written and that you might regret later. In case you are considering a divorce and you want to win over your kids, you need to control your emotions, no matter how much your ex provokes.
The reason for this is that any messages/emails or phone calls can be used as evidence against you. The other side can present you as “unstable” if you’ve had a couple of emotional bursts, even though you aren’t. Although you are fighting a lot of things at once, don’t make a bad situation worse for you. By not letting the other side get what they ask for, you are actually winning the battle.
Explore Alimony Options
There are some basic things you need to know about alimony before you start with the process. The best way to check whether you can apply for alimony and what you can expect is to ask your lawyer. They are familiar with such things as they know how the laws function in their state and they have had multiple cases before.
In case you’ve given up your career or paused it, to raise the kids and now you are divorcing, the judge will look at your earning potential. In some instances, you might be receiving alimony before the kids turn 18/21 (depending where you are) and sometimes, it is just for these few years that you haven’t been working.
Winning a child custody case isn’t set in store, but as a mother, you need to do all of the above and you will have a high chance of winning and having the kids go with you. Of course, divorce and child custody are complicated and difficult for everyone involved. Make sure that whatever it is you are doing is the best for the kids, especially if they are still underage and if this can affect their lives poorly. Minimizing those risks would be considered a successful divorce.
If a father wants to participate in the upbringing of the children, there’s no reason not to let him. It is always better to have both parents around, but this is up to you!