If you are facing a divorce and have children from the marriage, your greatest concerns likely involve child custody. The welfare and good of the children are the primary considerations taken by the family law court system. To increase your chances of getting primary custody of your children, it's important that you are prepared for court proceedings. Here are a few things you'll need to show and records you'll need to have on hand when seeking a family law attorney to aide in the proceedings involving the custody of your children.
Courts want the lives of children to be stable. Having stability in housing, education, religion, and other aspects of life can help children cope with the drastic changes of going from a two-parent household to a one-parent household. Stability is essential in the upbringing of children. The last thing a court wants to do is to award custody to a parent who does not have the means to provide a stable home.
Any document that will prove that you have stability and are able, therefore, to provide your children a stable home will be beneficial. Provide employment records, such as payroll stubs and tax documents, and housing records, such as a lease agreement or the deed to a house.
Responsibility is part and partial to parenthood. Showing that you are a responsible adult can go a long way in the court system, especially if the other parent is irresponsible. You can prove responsibility by providing things like proof of vehicle ownership and insurance coverage and a log of your checking account history to show that you pay your bills on time and there are no overdrafts.
Another aspect of parental responsibility has to do with providing your children with health and dental care. If you are the primary parent who makes these appointments and takes your children to the doctors and dentists on a regular basis, these things show that you are responsible. Provide your lawyer with copay receipts from medical and dental offices. Gather records to show your children are up-to-date on their annual examinations and shots.
A parent that puts forth effort to being involved in their children's lives would likely find favor in a courtroom. For example, if you have a child who sings in a school choir, you can be involved by attending their performances. Another example is if you have a child involved in sports, be involved by volunteering to coach or help run the concession stand at games. Volunteering to help in the school and chaperon field trips can also show involvement. Any documentation for these types of activities can help show that you are involved with your children.
Being able to nurture and care for your children is one of the most important factors when it comes to courts awarding custody to a parent. Nurture your children and encourage their emotional growth and ability to show empathy for others. Life as a working single parent will likely mean that you will be limited in the amount of time you have with your children to nurture them. That's why quality time with your children is extremely important.
Courts understand that parents have to work in order to provide all the essentials of living. Courts are not permitted to presume or infer that a working parent is not able to nurture and provide for their children. Being nurturing can be difficult to prove with records or receipts. However, court officials can typically tell which parent is more nurturing by how children interact with their parents. The court may ask you how you interact with your children after work. For more information or advice, contact a professional such as GSJones Law Group, P.S.