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Tips for Winning Custody Battles
Parents interested in winning custody battles should not enter a custody dispute unprepared. Parents need to provide proper documentation and prove they are the best capable to provide full-time care for the child.
Today, courts determine what is in the best interests of the children over the sex of the parent when determining who wins custody. Fathers winning custody of children is not as rare as it used to be.
That is because the dynamics of winning custody of children has changed over the years. The courts used to always grant custody of a child to the mother, with the father providing child support. This is not the case today. Before determining custody, the courts now look at each parents ability to care for the child. This change occurred as both women and men tend to have full-time jobs outside of the home. They also equally provide emotional and financial support. Because of this, the playing field has been leveled in winning custody battles.
Most custody disputes involve the mother and father. However, there are instances when a third party, such as a relative, will seek custody if a parent cannot care for the child or if one or both parents have died.
Winning Custody Battles
Parents interested in winning custody of children need to realize that the primary goal of the courts is to provide a stable environment for the child. Parents who cannot provide proper child care, are unable to hold a job, impede the visitation rights of the other parent or cannot provide a stable home environment are likely to lose custody of the child.
Overall, the courts look at multiple factors when deciding which parent will win the custody battle. These include, but are not limited to:
- The parents personality, disposition and ability to raise a child
- The parents relationship with the child
- The parents employment status
- The parents child-raising skills
- The parents physical and mental health
- The parents motive for seeking custody of the child
- The parents ability to encourage a healthy relationship with the other parent and extended family
There are other factors the courts consider when determining child custody. These include who the child would prefer to live with, and what impact moving would have on the child, if a parent wishes to relocate with the child. The courts may also consider where the parent lives and the quality of the school district in that area.
Once the court determines which parent will have primary custody of the child, or if the parents will share joint custody, it can be difficult to change that decision. However, there are situations where an initial decree can be overturned:
- If a parent develops a drug or alcohol addiction
- If the custodial parent is convicted of a crime and put into prison
- If a parent makes a geographic move that impacts the other parents visitation rights
- If a parent accepts a job that makes it difficult to properly care for the child
To modify an existing custody order, a parent has to file a written request to the court and prove there has been a significant change in circumstances. Your lawyer can help you do this.