Divorce can be a stressful experience. If you and your spouse disagree about which of you should have custody of your child, things can get extremely messy. You no doubt want to avoid contentious, drawn-out courtroom battles. However, you know your ex is not going to cooperate or compromise when it comes to child custody issues.
You may feel strongly that your child is better off living with you. What matters most is that you're able to convince the court to agree. If you have a friend or relative who has successfully sough full custody of a child, you may be able to glean some useful tips about how to win a custody case. You shouldn't be surprised if those who were successful credit their victories to strong support systems.
Things to know about requesting custody
Just as you want to make a good impression on a prospective employer during a job interview, when you petition a Florida court for custody of your child, you want to win the court's favor by showing that you are a fit parent who not only has the best interests of the child in question in mind but is able to provide a safe, loving environment that will help the child adapt to a new lifestyle. The following tips might help you accomplish your goals:
- Be prepared to show any and all documents, such as medical records or other information, that substantiates any allegations you make against the other parent or evidence that shows you are the best choice for full custody.
- If you show up in court knowing next to nothing about how the family justice system works, you may find the child custody process quite confusing and stressful.
- If your spouse has a substance abuse problem, the court should know about it. If you take drugs or suffer from alcohol addiction, it will definitely lessen your chances of gaining custody.
- If the court witnesses your willingness to work as a team with the other parent, the judge overseeing your case may be convinced that you want what's best for your kids and that you are willing to cooperate as much as possible to achieve it.
On the other hand, if you speak negatively about your co-parent, fail to show up for court on time or miss scheduled visits or transfer dates with your children, you may walk away disappointed if the court does not rule in your favor. To avoid this type of outcome, it's a good idea to take advantage of the support resources available in your area.