Don’t Wait To File For Custody, Act Now For Your Kids.

Your Children’s Futures Are Today

                 Time is a factor in every court case, doubly so for family legal issues involving custody and visitation in a divorce or separation. There is a principle that says that everything has a point at which it will balance. Using this as a metaphor, we can say that every case has a point at which the timing you employ in undertaking the task ahead of you, whether it’s petitioning the court for more visitation time or responding to be served papers for full custody, is incredibly important; acting too late can affect your case and even derail it from the proverbial tracks. It’s not unheard of for family court cases to get dragged out. This can be costly and tiresome. Getting the right materials together and presenting your story to the judge for what you want, why you want it, having evidence to support any claims and records of past occurrences and schedules is the best thing you can do to improve your odds in front of the judge. There are no guarantees in any legal situation, the best you can do is be prepared and have everything you need organized and ready to be presented.

  • What Do You Need? Doing your homework and coming to court prepared is expected of you and should not be taken lightly. Knowing what you need to present, in terms of what forms are needed and what facts are necessary to include, is half the battle. Usually this information can be accessed through your county’s court house or through local legal resources in town or on the web. “.gov” websites are normally a good place to look for information on forms to use in court if you plan on going to court for custody pro se. You don’t necessarily need an attorney in court; it is possible to get the issue resolved without having to spend thousands of dollars on a lawyer. Legal advocacy groups or other document preparation programs can be a great alternative.
  • What Do You Say? If you’re going to court for custody or visitation, it’s important to know what to include in your written argument, which take the form of your court papers. The judge is going to make their decision based on the facts. When adding information to be included in your court documents, don’t leave anything out. Leaving what you may think is a small detail out of your story can have larger consequences than you may think. What you and your son or daughter had for dinner Wednesday night may seem like an unimportant detail until your ex tries to say you don’t feed the children right and promote poor eating habits. It’s also important not to make it too lengthy either; you’re going to need to strike a balance so it makes sense to the judge and can be surmised in a relatively short amount of time.

The average time to respond to papers you were served is usually between twenty and thirty days. Failure to respond to a summons can allow the judge to make a default decision. It’s simple, if you’re not there to tell your story; they’re only going to hear the one your ex gives. If you’re dealing with a difficult ex in your custody battle, missing a court date is not recommended. If you’re a new mother, your timing in filing your documents to get custody of your baby is also just as important. It’s not unheard of for a person to give birth and soon after realize the father of the child isn’t a good influence or is simply unfit to care for the child in the way they need to be. If you’re a mother in this position, filing for custody while the child is still nursing is a great way to ensure you get primary custody of them. At early stages of infancy, children require their mother for sustenance; this is an excellent point to make in your case. Whatever strategy you employ in your case or argument you make to the judge, be prepared and know what to expect. Being unprepared for the judges questions or not having the information requested of you makes your case less convincing.

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Posted in Child Custody, child custody battles, Child Visitation, Children, Family Court, Parenting Tips, Raising Children
9 comments on “Don’t Wait To File For Custody, Act Now For Your Kids.
  1. My ex and his lawyer failed to appear once, despite proper service. The granted against him. It’s that simple.

  2. tall chris says:

    My granddaughter is in foster care and is going to be placed with her mother in the coming weeks. My son and I have had only 2-5 hour a week visits with her, but it is being increased to two nearly full days a week. We have been told that my son has to file for custody so that he has legal rights to the child after DHS washes their hands to the case in August. He also was told that he has to have a private attorney to file for custody and cant use the court appointed attorney for the DHS case. Is this true?

    We are concerned about the mother’s ability to hold it together and want to make sure that if the baby “drops”, that we as grandparents and he as father are there to “catch” her. Sounds like we will have a good legal precedent for two day a week visits when DHS leaves the case. We need at least two days a week to maintain our attached relationship to her, as she is only one year old.

    • Hi Chris,

      Please keep in mind, we are not a law firm so the following should not be considered legal advice or legal opinions, its just general information on how family court typically works.

      DHS definitely needs to be out of the case soon to move forward with any direction. To answer your question about him being required to have a private attorney in order to file anything, the answer is it depends. Typically, any parent can make a request in family court on their own or with a court appointed attorney, those are the rules in general. However, we have come across some parents saying that a judge has specifically instructed them to not come back to court unless they have hired an attorney. Not sure of the circumstances in those cases that resulted in the courts making those requirements.
      That said, once DHS has closed their case, your son can certainly make a request to change his order. When its his time with his daughter that is when you as a grandparent will be able to visit your grandchild. If he requires help with getting his ducks in a row we can assist him. Thank you for your concern and being supportive of him as he goes through this situation. Every parent has rights, its just a matter of taking the steps and making it happen. Hope that helps for now.

  3. 4keycorners says:

    Reblogged this on Family Shopping and commented:
    Read this if u r in this situation

  4. […] Don’t Wait To File For Custody, Act Now For Your Kids. March 22, 2013 […]

  5. […] Don’t Wait To File For Custody, Act Now For Your Kids. ( […]

  6. […] Don’t Wait To File For Custody, Act Now For Your Kids. ( […]

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