When you file for custody, you need to understand that it’s a big deal and takes a lot of energy and resources. You’ll need to do everything that you can to present your side of the story with the hopes that the judge is going to make you the custodial parent.
For most single fathers and mothers, physical child custody is the most important issue, much more important than legal custody and child support.
So if you’re wondering how to get custody of a child, then keep on reading and we’ll take you through everything you’ll want to know.
1. Talk With a Lawyer
Although you’re not required to have a lawyer, it’s in your best interest to hire an attorney when you’re fighting for custody. If you already don’t have an attorney, you should think about at least scheduling a free consultation with an experienced family law attorney. This will help you get a better understanding of your case.
2. Read the Child Custody Laws in Your State
If you want to get custody of your child, you’ll need to be aware of the custody laws in your state. Even if you already hired a lawyer, you should still be familiar with these laws.
The more you know, the more prepared you’ll be.
3. Complete All of the Necessary Forms Before You File for Custody
You want to make sure that you complete all of the forms fully. If you fail to check a box or sign your name somewhere, you could significantly delay the case.
You should also figure out if the papers need to be notarized.
4. Attend the Child Custody Hearing
While it might seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how many people don’t actually show up to court or come late. You should remember to arrive early and make sure that you dress appropriately.
You’ll then need to present your case. You won’t have a lot of time to speak in court. Thankfully, because there isn’t a jury, you won’t need to worry about speaking in front of a lot of people.
You should do your best to stay calm and speak loudly, slowly, and clearly. Don’t let yourself get worked up by what your ex says.
You just want to present the facts as they are. Make sure that you listen carefully and never interrupt the judge. You want to be on your best behavior when fighting for custody of your child.
5. Abide By the Judge’s Decision
When the judge makes a decision, you need to abide by what they say. If you don’t get custody, you can appeal the ruling at a later date. In the meantime, do everything that’s recommended by the court.
This can include getting a bigger home, getting a job, or taking certain classes. When you do this, you’ll be able to improve your chances of getting custody next time around.
The Importance of Knowing How to Get Custody of a Child
Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better understanding of how to get custody of a child. By having this information, you’ll be better prepared at presenting your case in court and winning custody of your child.
Make sure to check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles!