Coming to terms with a broken marriage can be very difficult, especially when children are involved. Regardless of how you and your spouse have grown apart or feel about each other, the feelings and love you have for your children will remain unchanged. Unfortunately, the divorce will affect where the children stay and how they are raised. In most cases, legal assistance is needed if you want to win sole custody in divorce.
It is unlikely the average layperson will have a complete understanding of all custody laws in his or her state. This makes it imperative to secure the services of a quality divorce attorney before proceeding. In addition to the state laws, there are also several other factors that will help the court determine with whom the children will live. Some of these factors are:
- Health of parent (both physical and mental)
- Existing relationship
One thing is for certain, the courts want to affect the overall life of the child as little as possible during this time. As the parent, this means you need to be aware that as little change as possible should be the centerpiece of your case for sole custody in divorce. This may mean as the parent, you will have to make some decisions that may not be your personal ideal choice.
For instance, moving out of the local community will not help someone’s case that is going for sole custody. Moving the children from one home to the next may be deemed a necessary change, but uprooting the children from their current school and friends may be considered too drastic of a change by the courts. If both parents are on even terms, the fact that the children are able to remain in a community where they have already established their roots could be the deciding factor.
Another part of the process will be questioning your spouse under oath. This “interrogation” is best left to a skilled professional, so if you have not already, consult with a family law attorney. An attorney will be skilled in asking these questions, but also in asking follow up questions based on the answers given. Whereas you may not notice indecision or even possible deception, your attorney will.
While some negative feelings and/or facts are bound to come out during this process, it is important for the sake of the children to try to keep this as positive as possible. Attacking the children’s mother or father in court could end backfiring and drive a wedge between you and your children that can be very difficult to repair. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with the children as well as how they will benefit from having you as their full-time parent.