Separation and divorce are difficult, emotionally wrenching situations. When your children are involved, it can become even more stressful. You want the best for your children, and you also want to be as involved in their lives as possible. The following tips can help with navigating child custody issues with your co-parent.
1. Educate yourself about the child custody process and your rights
It’s important to have access to reliable information about child custody and parental rights in California. To help you make sense of this complex issue, the attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri (LPEP Law) offer a free download entitled, “Child Custody Myths vs. Facts.” Some of the most helpful information includes:
- How child support works in joint custody situations
- How your child’s preference affects a court’s custody decisions
- Your rights if your co-parent is alienating your child’s affection toward you
- How to obtain delinquent child support payments
2. Make a good case for yourself
When determining custody issues, a judge will consider specific criteria with regard to the children’s living environment. It’s a good idea to be proactive and present yourself in the best light possible.
- Make sure your home is safe, clean, and comfortable.
- Be ready to demonstrate your ability to care for your children’s basic needs – food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and school supplies.
- Keep yourself healthy both physically and mentally.
- Maintain a good working relationship with your co-parent.
- Stay involved in your children’s activities and education.
3. Stay organized and document as much as possible
Depending on your relationship with your co-parent, you may be required to prove that you are dependable, responsible, and able to care for your children well. Keeping detailed notes about the visitation schedule you have established, your children’s calendar (e.g., doctor’s appointments, school events, holidays, etc.) and child support payments will help demonstrate in court that you are a capable and involved parent.
Although the involvement of both parents is usually preferable, if your former spouse is abusive in any way, puts your children at-risk in an unsafe environment, or does not have appropriate living arrangements to host your children, it’s vital to document any of those negative situations and present them in court.
4. Maintain positive communication
Do your best to keep all communication with your ex-partner, especially written communication like emails and texts, as civil as possible. Fighting with your former spouse in public or in front of your children is clearly not in your children’s best interests and can make an already tense situation worse. Even if you feel that they are being unreasonable, it’s important to stay constructive and polite on your end. If your child custody negotiations become contentious, your former spouse will not be able to use your words and actions against you.
5. Hire an experienced family law attorney
Nothing is more important than being in your child’s life. Working out child custody and parental visitation issues can be daunting, especially when emotions are high. The experienced and compassionate family law attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri understand the importance of family and can walk with you through the stresses of child custody litigation. Having experts on your side can help protect your parental rights and work toward the best possible outcome for your family. Call us today at 408-553-0801 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.
Disclaimer: this article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.