For many parents, the prospect of navigating a child custody battle is the most daunting aspect of filing for divorce. Developing a child custody arrangement that satisfies you and your spouse and serves your child's best interests can feel impossible, especially if you and your partner are somewhat estranged.
The court plays an instrumental role in handling custody cases and determining what life looks like for parents and children post-divorce. Understanding how to convey yourself in a custody battle can help you get the judgment you deserve.
Tip #1: Focus on Collaboration & Negotiation
The court plays an instrumental role in custody battles, so reaping the court's favor is incredibly important. To that end, courts tend to prefer individuals who try to compromise with the other party and make the custody battle as painless as possible.
Most courts view how a parent behaves in court as a reflection of their parenting style. For example, a judge might assume that a parent who gets easily angered or verbally abusive in court displays those same qualities at home.
The more effort you put into being gracious towards your co-parent, the better chance you have of winning the court's favor and getting a more favorable judgment.
Tip #2: Courts Know Nothing About Your Parenting Style
This plays into our first tip. One of the hardest parts of custody battles for many parents is that they can feel somewhat "performative." But the court doesn't know that you go out of your way to attend all your child's soccer games, or spend hours with them on their homework.
You and your lawyer need to work together and gather documentation that displays first-hand how much you care for your children and about being a parent. It may feel awkward, but it will result in a judgment that's more reflective of the effort you put into raising your family.
Tip #3: Explore all of Your Options
Discuss options for approaching your case with your lawyer. For example, requesting an in-home custody evaluation from a neutral, third-party evaluator can bolster your status as a parent in the court's eyes.
Remember, you and your attorney are a team. Don't be afraid to explore "unconventional" ways to improve your custody case and pursue your child's best interests. The more effort you put into making your custody case as robust as possible, the better the end result will be.
At Beatriz Zyne, P.A., we help Florida parents receive the custody judgments they deserve. To schedule a consultation with our firm, contact us online or via phone at (305) 876-6138.