Child Custody
Halt | November 19, 2022 | 0 Comments

How to Win a Child Custody Case

Child custody matters are critical, as they affect your child’s life and future. If you’re aiming to win your child custody case, it’s important to prepare, put yourself in the right headspace, and hire a lawyer.

An unbundled lawyer can help reduce the financial strain of a child custody matter while ensuring you have the legal representation you need to win.

Understanding Child Custody

Child custody

Before engaging in a child custody matter, it’s helpful to understand what child custody actually means. While many have the mistaken idea that custody simply means where the child will live, that’s only one part of it. Custody arrangements are personalized to reflect the needs of the children and parents.

Physical Custody

Physical custody, which is what most people think of when they hear “child custody,” refers to the child’s physical location, or where they reside. Parents can share physical custody, or one parent alone can have physical custody of their child if that would benefit the child best.

Legal Custody

Legal custody is a different type of custody, as it refers to the ability to make critical decisions for the child’s life and upbringing. When a parent has legal custody of their minor, they can make decisions regarding:

  • Schooling
  • Medical care
  • Religion
  • Extra curricular activities

When a parent is stripped of their legal custody rights, they cannot make any decisions that impact their child’s life.

Sole Custody

Sole custody gives a parent exclusive physical and legal custody of their child. When a parent has sole custody, their child lives with them and they alone are responsible for making decisions for their minor child.

Joint Custody

Joint custody allows both parents to share custody of their children. While joint custody is often referred to as 50/50 custody, it does not automatically mean parents have equal time with their children. The exact custody schedule varies depending on the circumstances. However, both parents have physical and legal custody.

Visitation

Visitation is also a significant topic for child custody matters. Visitation differs from custody. When a parent is granted visitation rights, they can spend time with their child, but the child is typically not with that parent for long periods.

Additionally, parents with visitation rights do not usually have legal custody.

Visitation can either be supervised or unsupervised, and the duration of visits, whether a few hours or overnights, depends on the situation.

How is Child Custody Determined?

When child custody decisions are left up to a judge, there are several factors judges use to come to their decisions regarding custody arrangements and schedules.

Generally, judges always want to do what is in a child’s best interest. What is best for a child depends on the circumstances, but determining custody revolves around certain factors, including:

  • The child’s age and health
  • The parents’ ages and health
  • The individual relationship the child has with each parent
  • Each parent’s ability to provide for the child
  • Which parent has been the primary caregiver thus far
  • The level of adjustment the child would have to undergo
  • Whether there are any allegations or history of abuse or neglect

A child’s preference usually holds no weight in the judge’s decision, unless the child is older and more capable of forming their own opinions. While a judge will never base their entire decision on the desires of the child, they may consider them.

What To Consider Before Moving And Sharing Child Custody

“Winning” a Custody Case Can Have Different Meanings

“Winning” a child custody case is subjective, as winning can have several meanings.

For some parents winning means getting sole custody of their child, while for others it means getting joint custody with their child’s other parent.

The overall most important goal in a child custody case is doing what is best for the child’s life, well-being, and future. As long as that goal is accomplished, that should be considered a win for every parent.

Tips for Child Custody

Working toward winning a child custody case can be stressful and challenging, but the following steps can put you in the right place to make winning more attainable.

Put Your Child and their Needs First

First and foremost, don’t forget who you’re doing this for: your child. It can be easy to get lost in the battle for child custody, but whenever necessary, stop and remember the ultimate goal.

Having your child is at the forefront of your mind throughout the custody process allows you to be in the right frame of mind.

Hire the Right Child Custody Lawyer

A child custody battle is difficult to win without the right help. A child custody lawyer can be your greatest ally, as they have the right knowledge, skills, and experience to protect your rights and help reach a favorable outcome.

Take Your Duties as a Parent Seriously

If you want custody, you’re going to have to prove you’re worthy of it. Continue with your parental duties throughout the custody process, no matter what that looks like.

Caring for your child, spending time with them, and providing financial support can all help show the court you’re serious about getting custody.

Cooperate with Your Child’s Other Parent, If Possible

At the end of the day, your child’s other parent is a part of your life. Whenever possible, cooperate with them and work together to make the right decisions for the children you share.

Remain Calm and Patient Throughout the Process

Types of child custody

While your patience may be tested at some point, try not to lose your cool. The child custody process is trying, but remaining calm, level-headed, and patient can help you successfully reach a beneficial result for you and your child.

Consider the Benefits of Hiring an Unbundled Lawyer

Winning a child custody case is much tougher without the help of a lawyer. However, hiring a custody attorney is a costly proposition. Fortunately, an unbundled lawyer can help keep costs low while providing quality legal representation.

An unbundled lawyer only differs from a traditional lawyer in the way they offer their services. Instead of charging a retainer fee and subsequent hourly fees for handling your entire case, they only charge for the services you request legal assistance with.

If you would like to learn more about unbundled legal services or other ways you can save money on your child custody case.

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