The most important factor in most divorces is the matter of child custody. Ideally, when there is no reason to the contrary, parents should have joint custody of their children, but this is not always (or even usually) possible, because the circumstances of the parents wouldn’t allow for it. Circumstances can change, however.
Now there are three potential obstacles you can face when you are contesting a perceived injustice in a child custody dispute. The first of these is that you may have to prove that any allegations made about you suggesting that you should not have custody are untrue or at least that there’s not a shred of evidence that they are true. Judges usually tend to err on the side of caution if they are to err at all. You will also need to prove that your circumstances really have changed, if that is the basis upon which you are challenging a decision. Finally you may need to show that it is in the best interests of all parties for the change to be made.
One of the reasons why custody is often a difficult problem is because when one parent has sole custody, they can receive child support payments from the non-custodial parent. While these payments are supposed to be used entirely for the benefit of the child, it’s no secret that this is not normally the way things go. Parents receiving that “extra income” may be reluctant to see any decrease in the amount, even if their parental responsibility is reduced.
According to leading child custody attorneys, Carlsbad based Fischer & Van Thiel, getting a lawyer should always be your first step in any task of this magnitude. You also need to make sure that you provide full disclosure of anything at all which may be relevant to your case and which your lawyer ought to know. What you tell your lawyer is protected by attorney-client privilege, and your lawyer won’t disclose that to anyone else without your permission, so there’s really nothing you should feel you have to hold back. The more information your attorney has to work with, the easier it will be for them to help you.
Fighting custody battles is not easy, especially when you are already designated as the non-custodial parent. The court looks at all kinds of factors in making these kinds of decisions. Often it is recognized that it is better for children to have contact with both of their parents, but it’s not an open-and-shut scenario.
Some of the factors that may come up for examination include whether either of the parents has remarried since the divorce, the living standards of each parent, and how disruptive it might be to the child’s life and education if they were to move from the home of the custodial parent. The wishes of the child are also taken into account most of the time, when the child is old enough and physically able to express their thoughts.
Prepare for your battle early. Be ready. And give your lawyer all the information they’ll need to help you win the case. This way you can be more confident of a positive outcome for you and your children.