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Child custody cases are tormenting for a parent and child. Things turn worse, as the span of the case is quite time consuming. However, do not lose hope and prepare yourself with what you may need to confront during the proceedings and be equipped with all the necessities to win custody of your children. The following are some of the important steps.
Hire a good lawyer - The first and foremost thing you should do is to hire an effective lawyer. Search out for the best group of lawyers in your area and make an appointment to meet all of them. Visit them all, even if you are satisfied with the first one, to select the best in the lot. Consider the following points while choosing an lawyer.
- Before choosing your lawyer make sure that he possesses a skilled and knowledgeable team of supporting staff, who can guide you properly in the absence of the lawyer, whenever an issue arises.
- Find an lawyer who belongs to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, for they are usually the most capable ones, possessing vast knowledge about child custody issues and is updated with the latest case laws. Above all, select a well-experienced and expert lawyer, skilled in dealing with all child custody related issues.
- If your case is dragged to family court, then consider a lawyer, who is well acquainted with the local politics and in particular the judge supervising over the proceedings.
Expert Witnesses - Find out from the lawyer whether you need any expert witnesses, such as psychologists, social workers or investigators. An investigator can capture the immoral nature of the opposite parent, which will prove to be more credible in the court than your own. A psychologist’s opinion dealing with the child’s statement is considered quite important by the court.
Documentation - During this phase, you need to maintain a calendar to keep all the necessary notes on dates of events that takes place, in your own handwriting. This valued documentary evidence, is admired in the court, especially when the other party is unable to produce the same.
Record all the details - Buy an adaptor for your telephone and connect it to a recorder or purchase a mini pocket sized recorder. Record all the discussions between you and the other parent in detail, which will prove extremely helpful for your lawyer. It often happens in custody cases that the parents behave violently in front of each other and they are camouflaged in front of their lawyer or judges. Thus, these records will bring the other party in true light if the opportunity arises, such as in the case of negation.
Guidelines of your behavior - You should be well behaved during the court proceedings and maintain your politeness while conversing with the other parent also. Attend every school program and other extra-curricular activities of your child. Try to have your lunch at the child’s school at least once a month. Visit the church regularly with your child. Remember that your child’s teacher can make a great witness.
Try not to be involved in any other affairs during this phase, if the child is your prime concern. Assume that the other parent’s lawyer has hired an investigator for you, which may be true also.
Make the Parent/Child Relationship smooth - Avoid interfering in the relationship between the child and the other parent and their family. Try to nurture those relationships for this will come to your credit, when the court will consider which parent can facilitate the relationship with the other parent more.
Some special cases - Certain situations arise when the custodial parent wants to shift with the child to some other state. The first thing a custodial parent needs to do is file the petition; you should be well prepared as the other parent can challenge the petition.
However, in such cases the final decision rests with the judge who takes into consideration the “best interest of the child”. The judge will consider that how this shifting can affect the child or whether the move will improve the quality of the child’s life, before offering the verdict. But if the parents are unmarried and the child resides with the mother, then the father will face difficulties in preventing the removal to other states. So, handle the child custody case with extreme precaution, a single error can result in you losing your child forever.