Custody and Divorce
If you’re a parent and you’ve reached the point where you’re going to separate from your significant other, odds are you going to need to draw up some documents or go to court over the issue. It would be great if the court process weren’t necessary, but this isn’t a perfect world. These kinds of situations don’t have to be ugly, although in some instances this can be the case. It’s understandable to get caught up in divorcing the mother or father of your children and forget about what’s really important; what’s best for the kids. For some this is obvious but in the heat of the moment it’s easy to lose sight of the target. Deciding the custody or visitation schedule for either parent involved can be a long or short process depending on the amount of cooperation exhibited by the two of you. To quote John Wayne, “All wars are fought by scared men who would rather be someplace else.” While this isn’t exactly a war, deciding who gets custody of your child can feel like one.
You might have to do a little research on your particular State’s statute on child custody laws and regulations; different states have different laws on this. Knowing some legal terms wouldn’t hurt either. Know the difference between legal custody and physical custody will help you a lot, if you’re unsure on these terms a quick internet search will steer you in the right direction or you can consult with a legal professional, although this will cost time and money. Historically, courts have ruled in the mother’s favor if there is any question about the father not being the best parent for the child to spend the majority of their time with. That being said, it’s important to make yourself look as good as possible. Time to shine you shoes and go to little league practice if you aren’t doing so already. Here’s a couple things to consider before you stand in front of the judge:
- Are you financially secure?
- Are you well connected to the people in your child’s life? (teachers, coaches, friends etc)
- What’s your home like?
- How far do you live from the other parent and/or school?
All these things matter to the judge. He doesn’t know you or what goes on in your person lives. They’re going to be given a written argument from each of you, if this is indeed a custody battle, and make a decision based on the facts. If you have questionable things in your life that might interfere with the judge’s decision, now’s a good time to fix that. It’s also important to educate yourself on your rights. Find out what you can do as a father or mother. Can you take the child out of state? Can the other parent take the child out of state? What can/can’t you do? Being prepared is half the battle. If you don’t know what you’re doing, the judge will know it and it could affect the outcome of your case. If you’re unsure on anything, contact a legal professional or find the information online, the answers are out there.