Any good custody lawyer knows your main priority in a custody battle should be keeping your child’s best interests in mind. It’s a stressful time for everyone, so going into the proceedings with everything you need to succeed is highly beneficial for you and all the other parties. Let’s go over a couple of things you’ll need to have before proceedings begin.
Ask a Custody Lawyer: 7 Things You’ll Need for a Custody Battle
1. An Empathetic and Reputable Lawyer
You can’t win a legal battle without one of the best custody lawyers for women in Columbus OH by your side. You’ll end up losing custody of your child if you attempt to take on this case alone. You need a lawyer with a good track record in winning cases like yours. However, the lawyer you choose should also be empathetic because this is a case with high emotional stakes, and you’ll want to know you can feel comfortable with this lawyer no matter what happens.
2. A Skilled Mediator
Not all custody hearings need to go to court. Your lawyer will be able to advise you on whether yours will require a formal trial or not. You may be able to settle this outside of the courtroom using a qualified mediator. Your lawyer can likely recommend a colleague or someone they’ve worked with in the past for this.
Cases that use a mediator often settle far sooner than ones settled in the courtroom. However, it’s not always possible to settle with a mediator, so keep this in mind. Your lawyer will be able to advise you further on this.
3. An Achievable Goal
You can make this easier on yourself by knowing exactly what you want out of your custody proceedings from the start. You need to look realistically at your situation and determine what you can expect out of it. Once you’ve done this, you need to work within these expectations to figure out exactly what you want. Do you want full physical custody? Shared? Determining which seems like the more achievable goal will be an asset in your case.
4. A Level Head
Both you and your former partner are likely to act unpleasantly during these proceedings. That’s normal. There are a lot of emotions involved in a custody battle. However, you need to remember that the person that matters most in all of this is your child. Keeping a level head for your child will make this easier on them and on yourself. It will also help you work towards your targets and goals with a healthy mindset.
Learning ways to manage your emotions during this will be helpful as your case goes on. Neglecting your mental health during the case will lead to you not having a level head as you proceed with the case.
5. A Record of Maintaining Support for Your Child
If you and your partner have been separated for a while, then it’s likely you’ve been co-parenting and possibly sharing physical custody of your child. You should gather as much evidence as you can to prove that you’ve been maintaining support for your child despite not living with them if that’s the case. Show the courts that you’ve been a good parent throughout this to strengthen the chances that you’ll be awarded joint custody.
6. A History of Keeping Up Child Support Payments
If you got divorced several months or years ago and are currently looking to change your custody arrangement, then you need to display a good history of paying your child support if you don’t currently have physical custody of your child. You need proven records showing that you’ve been keeping up the payments.
However, if you have physical custody, your former partner will need to prove they’ve been keeping you their child support payments. If you have evidence proving they’ve been neglecting their payments, you’ll need to provide this evidence during the case. The court needs to know about the issue.
7. An Open Line of Communication with Your Former Partner
A custody battle isn’t always an outright battle. Many of these cases can be solved amicably. You and your partner should, ideally, have an open line of communication where you can talk to each other civilly and with level heads. Finding common ground with an ex-partner, even if you have a poor relationship with them, will make this case easier on everyone going forward. It will definitely make it feel like much less of a battle.
Custody battles are never easy. You need lots of documents, a level head, and a willingness to do what’s best for your child if you want the best outcome possible out of your case. A skilled attorney will help you reach all your goals during your case.