Parents going through a divorce will need to prepare for a custody battle. There are several issues to resolve in a divorce and child custody disputes are one of the most difficult for the parents and children. In the past, it was common for the mother to gain custody and for the father to provide child support. Recently, it has become more common for fathers to win custody disputes equal to mothers. Courts aren’t so much concerned about assigning custody based on gender identification, rather their primary goal is to rule in favor of the child’s best interest. In the state of Michigan, there are a number of distinct factors that weigh in on the determination of what is in the best interest of the child and who will ultimately get custody. If you are a parent dealing with a custody battle, The Law Office of Jack L. Jaffe is here to offer you valuable advice.
Prepare for the Custody Dispute
Parents entering a child custody dispute should be well prepared and ready to provide proof and documentation of why they are the best-fit parent for a child. Going into court unprepared is a mistake you want to avoid. Your evidence should illustrate all the reasons why you are the most capable parent to care for your kids. You should keep record of efforts made in maintaining a relationship with the child, for example, activities done together. Make sure to keep track of the date and time of each event as well, this might be in the form of a detailed journal. It is also smart to document incidents which demonstrate why the other parent is unfit, for example, evidence of neglect, drug abuse, or an overwhelming work schedule. Another way to prepare is by getting a few witnesses who can attest to your parenting in court. These witnesses might be teachers, neighbors, or friends that have observed positive interactions between you and your kids throughout the time that you’ve known them.
Maintain a Healthy Mental and Physical Lifestyle
Another factor the court will take into consideration during a custody battle is the stability and security of the child’s environment. Whether you are a mother or a father, it is critical for you to maintain your lifestyle in a healthy manner. This includes your mental health, physical health, and the stability of your home environment. Keep your home clean and habitable to ensure a safe place to live. You should also be conscious of the choices you make and base them on leading a healthy lifestyle, as this can lead to an indication of a healthy parenting style. It’s also important to keep your mental health in check. The court will be looking closely at any mental health issues that may prevent you from properly caring for the kids. The way in which you live out these areas of your life will play an integral part in your fight for custody.
Build Parent-Child Relationship
Building a strong relationship with your child also plays a role in determining who gets custody. The courts will look at the capacity of love and attention, as well as how much guidance and direction a parent provides. As the parent, it’s important that you make an intentional effort to build a strong bond and take the time to involve yourself in your child’s life. Actively seek out opportunities to spend time with your child, for example helping them with homework, tucking them into bed and reading them a story or attending school events and extracurricular activities they are a part of. You need to prove that you are involved in your child’s life playing different roles as a cheerleader, disciplinarian, and guardian. Another important point is to allow your kids to maintain a positive relationship with the other parent as well. It’s in the child’s best interest to consistently keep in contact with both parents even after a divorce. For this reason, the judge will take into account which parent is willing and encouraging of a continued relationship between the kids and the other parent.
Secure Employment Status
The security of your employment status will determine whether you will be able to consistently provide and care for your child. Proof of stable employment shows the court that you can offer full-time care by providing your child with food, clothes, a safe home environment, medical care and other material items. The court will look into all these matters to determine which parent is most fit to give the child what they need.
A child custody battle is one of the hardest things a mother or father will go through during a divorce, It can be a difficult time for the whole family as the kids cope with all the changes. It’s critical that you prepare yourself to ensure you gain custody of your child. Keep these tips in mind and get proper legal representation from a trusted lawyer with over 30 years of experience. Family law attorney Jack L. Jaffe will help you build a strong child custody case. If you need legal counsel or have any questions, feel free to contact us through our online contact form or call us today at (248) 522-9545.