Getting Legal Help in a Child Custody Battle
A judge considers the ability of each parent to support the relationship of the children with the other parent. Parents who are constantly fighting do not illustrate supportive behavior.

Last Updated: November 28, 2022

When parents split, a child custody battle over children sometimes ensues and if this situation is not handled carefully, both parents end up losing. If the child custody battle becomes particularly ugly, the situation may be left to a court to resolve. In the end, a long, drawn-out child custody battle will likely hurt the kids, so knowing what is involved and whether it is necessary (instead of compromising) is important. Getting a free consultation regarding your case is what the expert lawyers here provide for you!

Legal Help for a Child Custody Battle

Parents who are unwilling to compromise in their attempts to win custody of kids may find themselves in front of a family court judge. For most parents, legal expertise proves essential in this unfamiliar situation. Each parent should obtain the representation of a child custody attorney to help develop and present a case to the judge. A well-prepared, comprehensive case increases the chance of a favorable outcome.

Lawyers Help Avoid Conflict

Some level of conflict is involved in every custody case heard by a family court judge. The more acrimonious the situation, the less leeway the judge has with a custody order. Lawyers build cases that illustrate why their clients will be the most suitable caregivers for the children. By providing a wealth of information and expert testimonies, lawyers give judges the information they need to make well-informed custody decisions.

Many times, parents are unable to even sit down and discuss what the parenting time situation should be because they can’t communicate with each other. There are many reasons for this, such as constant fighting, orders of protection, or unwillingness of one or both parents to put their feelings aside to discuss what’s best for the kids. When both parents are unable to communicate, a child custody battle almost be a guarantee. However, being able to have an attorney speak on your behalf and help negotiate for you can cool things down fast.

Child Custody Decision: Best Interests of the Child

Judges base their decisions on the best interests of the children. In doing so, they consider the ability of each parent to provide the children with shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, and other necessities. They review the ability of each parent to provide a stable home life, education, and community experience. In addition to considering the sex, age, and health of the child, they consider the health and lifestyle of the parents.

The “best interests of the child” standard is used in all 50-states, although the exact factors used to determine what is best for the kids varies a bit from state to state. Beyond the basic necessities listed above, courts often base their decision during a child custody battle on these main factors:

  • Ability of parents to co-parent/communicate with each other for the kids
  • Past involvement in child-rearing (bedtime, schoolwork, transportation to/from school, attending doctors’ appointments, present at school and sports/extracurricular activities, etc.)
  • The distance between the parents’ residences
  • Any prior agreements or plan the parents may have been following outside of court intervention
  • The willingness of each parent to continue to foster a relationship between the child and the other parent (ie. – NOT talking bad about the other parent)
  • Whether any physical or mental abuse has happened by either parent towards the child or in the presence of the child against someone else

For the most part, (except the abuse of the child by a parent), none of these are by themselves the sole deciding factor for how a judge will decide a child custody battle. The number one thing that a parent can do to increase their success of winning a child custody battle is to make sure they fit as many of these factors into their life. Get out there and offer to take the kids while your ex is at work. Offer (and do) some pickups and drop-offs at school. Get to the practices and coach a team. Be involved! And then hire a child custody lawyer to showcase all of these things in the best possible light.

Child Custody Battle 101

When parents begin a child custody battle, they will likely hurt both themselves and their children. A judge considers the ability of each parent to support the relationship of the children with the other parent. Parents who are constantly fighting do not illustrate supportive behavior. In addition, their harsh words and actions can emotionally scar their children. Attorneys attempt to keep client emotions under control so the damage is limited.

Judges will find out who was fighting just to fight and who actually cares about the kids. It’s important to remember that the judge is a human being too, and they will feel sympathy for a parent who looks to be under attack from a vindictive parent that uses the children as a weapon to attack the other parent. A child custody lawyer will always work to avoid this because it is bad for the kids and damaging to the case.

Next Steps

While a child custody battle can be scary, if a parent works to prove that he/she is the reasonable parent, a good result can take place. Through their speech and actions, parents play big roles in custody decisions. They should behave as role models and let their lawyers handle the contentious issues. Getting a free custody evaluation is the first step to fighting for your family!

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9 thoughts on “Getting Legal Help in a Child Custody Battle”

  1. My daughter has a 2 & 1/2 year old son, his father never came around when she was pregnant & the first 2 years of his life. They had a DNA test done for child support & he’s only seen him a handful of times since then. He went for over 100 days with no visit even though she has made every effort to get him to visit. My grandson has extereme stranger anxiety & his father won’t visit mostly because he thinks my daughter wants a relationship with him when she doesn’t she is engaged to another man now & all of a sudden the father is threatening my daughter with taking my grandson… I guess my question is Can he legally do this when he has had little to no contact with him in almost 3 years?

    1. His case is probably not that good to win custody. However, with that being said, it does not mean he has no chance. MY advice: get an attorney immediately and begin taking proactive steps rather than reacting to whatever he may or may not do himself. The first step is to establish that she has been the primary custodial parent and that he has had little to no involvement in the child’s life. If you act fast and if your attorney strikes hard and is aggressive, you will have a better chance at beating him back and keeping things as they are going forward. Waiting for him to act is a mistake, act fast!

  2. I was nineteen and not too well off when my other took my five moth old daughter for a weekend I lived three hours away and she wanted to see her not thinking anything of it even if we have always had a strained relationship … she filed for emergency custody I had no car and no way to court and after all the accusations the judge ordered me every single weekend and holiday on the principle she owns a daycare .. two years later now I have an eleven month old daughter whom I have had since birth had a bf (her father) and an apt a car a nice job the whole nine baby in daycare … on sun my bf raised his fist to me and I left ….. no home nothing I went to stay with my father ad psycho step mom for two days … needless to say she needs help and kicked me out … I had NO ONE AT THAT VERY MOMENT TO HELP ME AND NO WHERE TO GO WITH MY DAUGHTER OFF THE TOP OF MY HEAD … sooo I called my mother said can you just take her for a few days … that’s it … not even 24 I have a decent home and people willing to help me get a place and all … my motor blew in my car .. she filed another emergency petition stating I have no residence for my child and stated to me if I would have kept my mouth shut I would have had a home for my child … this woman is sick minded … I neeeeed help!!!!

  3. My husband and I just split up Saturday he moved to Missouri to live with his mom on Saturday. I live in Ohio and have all 3 of our kids. He was threatening to take the kids when they get out of school Friday. After telling him I will fight and they are not leaving the state he said he would sign custody over to me so that we wouldn’t have to pay thousands in court costs. I am afraid that he is just saying this so that I so do not file for custody first. How do I go about protecting my kids from being taken out of state? If I file will that protect them until out court date?

    1. familylawrights

      Yes. Filing first in your home state where the children reside will stop him from being allowed to remove the children. Make sure you have your life in order and do it fast. You cannot risk having anything bad from your current life ruin your chances in court. Good luck fighting for your family!

  4. I have sole conservatorship of my nieces baby girl which we all agreed that I was to adopt her before she was born. Birth mother, birth father and myself…..all paperwork from hospital indicates their intentions speaking with case workers and all. She was released to me from the hospital and has been with me ever since….. I am the only mother she knows….. We did get sole conservatorship paper filed in court , but the adoption was never completed. Now they want her back ! Birth mom is a prostitute and birth father is a pimp -they both have extensive criminal backgrounds and have not ever had a real legal paying job. There federal agents believe that he works under aged girls….. I fear for my baby girl…. How can I get parents rights terminated — they are taking me to court for visitation rights – child protective has stepped in and have a safety plan for baby girl to not have any contact with the birth mother nor father…. But, I do not want this baby girl to not have a relationship with them at all….. They are dangerous……. I’m a single parent – I need help ! Or good advice …. Texas is the state I’m in.

    thank you !,,,,

    1. Family Law Advice

      The only way to fight this is to go to court and ask for emergency intervention. The intervenors are counselors that will examine all parties and speak with the children, should they find something bad about anyone, they will not allow visitation or child custody changes to be made. You must act quickly and you must be smart about it. This is no time to waste a moment.

  5. Scheduled for custody trial April 22 and need help as it has become to overwhelming for me we have several factors that are involved. Physical, sexual, mental abuse

    1. You are almost out of time. Call on friends and family to step in and help, hire an attorney or you will not have any chance of winning your custody battle. This is the most important fight of your life, don’t let your kids suffer because you couldn’t come up with some money to pay for an experts help. Sell your tv, get help from friends and family, payday loan, whatever you have to do, this is important.

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