There is no surefire way to win child custody. The court will determine what is in the best interests of your child. You must demonstrate that living with you rather than their other parent is in the best interest of your child. This is not accomplished by bashing the other parent. Of course, if your child’s other parent poses a risk to their safety and well being that needs to be established. Otherwise your primary point of concentration is to ensure that you are providing the best possible life for your children.
You need to provide your child or children with a loving and stable environment. This is something you need to be doing regardless of whether or not you are in a custody battle. Provide an environment where your child is safe and able to flourish.
Work with your ex to handle visitation poorly. Do not try to cause problems by refusing to allow your child visitation with their parent or by making a scene every time they have a weekend with dad (or mom). You will only be hurting the child if you make it stressful when they talk to or spend time with their other parent.
You will want to hire an attorney who specializes in family law. They will guide you in the process of fighting for custody according to the law. The steps you must take to file for custody will depend on the current circumstances. Are you divorcing? Are you the parent who does or does not currently have primary custody? Etc.
Write down any concerns you have pertaining to the well being, safety or happiness of your child when they are with their other parent. Be truthful. Do not exaggerate or make up stories to make your ex-spouse or partner look bad. For example, write down concrete evidence of times when your child was injured, frightened or upset after spending time with their other parent. Make sure you can back up what you say. If you are going to say your ex husband goes out drinking every night, make certain you can prove that. List potential witnesses for your case who can confirm what you are saying.
Obtain good employment. You will need a stable job where you can make enough money to support your children. Being unemployed or living on county assistance benefits will not help your case. Select quality childcare providers for your children so that their other parent cannot state that they are in a bad environment while you are at work.
Create a strong support system. The court will take into consideration your child’s relationship with other family members. They will consider whether or not you have strong relationships and a supportive family to help you. It is not easy being a single parent. A judge will not want to place your child with the other parent if they will rarely see family members to whom they already have a strong bond.
Do not associate with anyone who poses a risk to your child. Try to put aside dating to concentrate on the needs of your children. If you have any friends or family members who have poor habits and a poor lifestyle, do not allow them to spend time around your child.
Provide your lawyer with a list of people who can serve as witnesses to demonstrate that you are providing the best life for your child or children. Talk to preschool teachers, school teachers, pediatricians, the minister at your church, family, friends and anyone else who can confirm that you are as good of a parent as you state.
If you do not currently have custody of your child but have open visitation, visit with your child as often as possible. Do not miss any scheduled visitations with your child. Attend school functions and other activities for which your child is a participant. You cannot establish that being with you is in the best interests of your child if you spend little time with them.
You need to put your child first at all times. If that means finding a job near their school district or moving to be closer to them, that’s what you need to do. Maintain a healthy lifestyle so that you can be in the best health and shape to care for your child. Do what it takes to show the court that you are the person who can provide the most stable lifestyle for your child and a life where they can thrive.