A child custody case may typically be one of the most stressful experience a parent can face, especially when you have no clue of the results. Most juries base their decision with the child’s best interests at heart, when determining the custodian for the child. Although the exact definition of a child’s best interest differs from state to state, the courts in Virginia typically favor parents who involve themselves actively in their kid’s lives. Moreover, courts may positively consider parents who help their children in maintaining a healthy relationship with the other parent.
Here are 6 tips to plan your case effectively and increase your chances to get a positive outcome:
1. Promote Your Role in the Child’s Education, Recreational & Social Development
Play a large role in the academics and well-being of your child. Go and get report cards, school records, and interim reports. Stay updated with absences, progress, and performance. Remember your children’s teachers’ names; contact the teachers and converse with them. Attend parent-teacher conferences. Give due attention to your kids’ needs for extracurricular activities, like sports, dance, music, or any other fun activity outside of school. Make sure they are spending good time with their friends as well. Volunteer, coach and never lose an opportunity to encourage your child. If you have not been taking all these crucial steps, start right away. This way you will be having a strong position as a parent who cares about their children’s education, well-being, and social development.
2. Have Rules and Enforce Them
Suggesting sensible rules in your house for homework, chores, behavior, etc. and enforcing them with appropriate rewards and/or punishments is necessary. This is because it enables you to demonstrate your ability to raise a self-disciplined child, to the judge.
3. Know Your Children
Know your kids in such a way that you can talk about them nicely for an hour on your own. Review their social networking; talk and play with them; and know their friends and meet them. Familiarize yourself thoroughly with what they like and dislike, their favorite classes, books, movies, and sports teams. Finally, talk about it in court.
4. Be a Caregiver
Accompany your kids to their regular healthcare, dental, and other appointments. Be involved, ask questions, and know what the doctors and other specialists say. Know the babysitter and make sure that the one you hire is qualified and well-versed. Feed them healthy meals and snacks. All this will show a judge your serious attitude towards your children’s health.
5. Watch Your Behavior
Remember that your behavior towards your children will be heavily scrutinized. Thus, try not to give even a single reason to the other party to claim that you are a bad parent. Consequently, treat everything you do and say to the other parent as if it is being recorded and will be played in a court. The same rule applies to writings.
6. Hire an Attorney
You should consider retaining an experienced lawyer who specializes in child custody. Even when the custody matter is a component of your divorce case, every divorce attorney does not specialize in custody negotiations. Consequently, hiring a legal practitioner well-versed in the issues and nuances of child custody cases may be helpful in winning in court.