[E]ariler this week we talked about 7 Custody Facts You Need to Ignore. Today I want to address the 7 Custody Fact You Need to Focus On.
Rarely, as an adult, do we go under the microscope and get judged by outsiders as to how we do life. We don’t normally get scrutinized on how we parent, spend our time, nor give an account for every item we buy. The processing for adopting a child is intense and we make future parents jump through hoops in order to guarantee the best possible option for placing children. The same is true in a child custody case.
[tweet “What u do w/your spare time & how u conduct yourself is now up 4 evaluation in child #custody.”]
Child Custody Requires an Examination of Your Life
What you do with your spare time, how you conduct yourself, and what you say on social media is now up for evaluation. I will assume you are a non-drug user, conservative dresser and speaker, limited drinker, church attending, law abiding, and voting citizen. Who is also well liked by other kids’ parents. So all things being equal, what does your custody case really come down to? What elements should you be focused on?
7 Custody Facts You Need to Focus On
1. Your Over Involvement with Your Children Past and Present. Write down every parenting class, every baseball game, every cub scout troop meeting, pretty much every activity you ever did with your kids. Organize them into a photo albums if you have the pictures. Next, start recording, documenting, and taking selfies of your kid centric activities you are doing with your kids moving forward.
2. Your Kid Centered Approach on Life. The Cambridge Dictionary defines kid centric or child centered parenting as “teaching and treating children in which the child’s needs and wishes are the most important thing.” As an educated parent, I am NOT a fan of this parenting approach. Nevertheless, in general, I have found judges, case workers, juries, social workers, and custody attorneys lean more this direction. I am not telling you to let your children rule your every move, instead I am giving you some perspective on how children are viewed in child custody cases. More on this particular subject in future posts.
3. Your Ability to NOT Express Ill Will Toward Your Ex. In my post interview with jury members and the social worker assigned to my case, this was the number one reason mentioned as to why my Ex didn’t win primary custody. I know you may harbor harsh feelings toward the mother of your children and divorce and custody certainly promotes it. But get counseling and get over it! Animosity toward your Ex is extremely bad for your kids and is picked up in your testimony and conduct. It is a MAJOR factor in losing custody.
4. Your Stability Now and in the Future with Your Home, Phone and Job. How frequently you move, change your phone number, or change your job plays a huge role in determining custody. Moving is always bad, unless it is one time, and only to be closer to your kids and their school. Stability is best reflected by staying constant in those three areas.
5. Your Flexibility in Caring for Your Kids Outside of School. Jobs that are flexible in allowing time off or even flexible in schedule are highly favored in court. Basically YOU being available to care for you kids anytime is preferable.
6. Your Structured and Educational Parenting Styles. Are you involved with your kids education? Do you have a road map for your kids? What are you teaching your children at home? “I’ve been working with Johnny on my weekends, using the Day-by-Day Preschool Plan.” “I introduced Sally to Memrise on her iPad, since she’ll be taking Spanish Immersion at her school starting in 1st grade.” “Caitlyn is currently taking AP classes at Bell, but she qualifies for the IB program, which will offer her 24 college credit hours. This is great because she plans to attend University of North Texas which currently accept those transfer hours.”
7. Your Network of Family and Friends in Your Life and the Life of Your Kids. While a good case cannot be centered on the fact that your mom will move in to help you raise your children. Custody decision makers do realize it takes a village to raise a child. Have the support of family and friends and the available of mom, 20 mins away should an emergency occur, is good. List and outline your support groups that are already involved in your life and the life of your kids. Specify the frequency of their relationship, the availability of their help, and their current involvement with your children.
Your attorney will help guide you on what makes a good custody case. She will address and spending time with you on what to focus on for your child custody case.
What else matter in your child custody case? What have you found that is important?
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