Yesterday I posted an article with 5 tips for parents who have lost custody of their children and are committed to regaining custody. This post expands by adding 5 more tips.
#6 Prepare a Care Plan
To award custody, a judge wants to make sure that a parent is ready to take care of the child. Preparing a care plan is one winning strategy to show that you can handle parental responsibilities.
Learn about your child's routine. If your spouse handled the daily care of your children, you may have some homework to do. Gather information by showing an interest in your children's daily activities. What grade are they in? When does school start and end? What extracurricular activities are they involved in? How often do they go to the doctor or the dentist? Sharing this information with your lawyer can help your lawyer prepare arguments to show you understand the needs of your children.
Then consider how you can best meet your children's needs. Who will pick your kids up from school? Do you have place for your child to sleep? Are you prepared to handle emergency situations? You want to show that you have carefully considered the logistics of parenting.
#7 Offer to Spend Time with Your Children
The more time you spend with your kids, the more you strengthen your case for custody. If you do not have custody of your children, ask the parent with sole custody if there is something you can do to help out. Any parenting activity from preparing meals to picking the kids up is a factor in your favour when arguing for custody. For example, you may be able to look after your children while your spouse is attending a business trip or family emergency. Being a reliable and available parent will help you argue you should have custody of your kids.
#8 Be Reasonable
Make sure you come across as a reasonable parent. Avoid fighting with your ex-spouse, especially in front of your children. Do not turn teachers, doctors and other professionals against you by making it difficult for them to do their job. If they are not allowed to give you information about your child, do not harass them. Act as if your ex-spouse is recording your behavior to find anything that could be used against you. Don't give the other side ammunition to complain about your parenting.
#9 Record Violations of Your Rights
If your spouse is interfering with your ability to parent your children, consult your lawyer to confirm you are acting within your current authority. If you have been granted visitation but your spouse will not let you see your kids, you need to talk to your lawyer ASAP to protect your rights.
If your ex-spouse is not letting you see your kids, this shows that they are not acting in the best interests of the children and this could be used in your favor. On the other hand, if you don't use the visitation you are entitled to, your spouse could argue you are not interested in being a parent and you could lose your rights. A skilled and experienced family lawyer is your best ally at dealing with violations of your rights.
#10 Act Like A Parent
Make an effort to do parenting activities during your time with your children. To be awarded custody, you want to show the court that you can handle parental duties. Many parents will spend their visitation time doing just fun activities. This is fine, but a court will be more impressed if you are taking on more parental responsibilities such as taking kids to the doctor or doing homework with your kids. Try to adhere to your child's schedule as much as possible. For example, if you child would otherwise attend soccer practice during your visitation, make an effort to take your kid to that practice instead of doing something you want to do. This shows you attuned to the needs of your kids and ready to be a good parent.