custody battleDuring a divorce, parents often ask their lawyers to help them win custody of kids. There is no one best way to win custody and decisions can be made either inside or outside of court. Parents should know their custody rights, understand the factors involved in custody decisions, and do what is best for their children. If a battle over child custody develops, they should have a legal expert on their side. Getting a free consultation from an expert right now is your best bet to fight for your family.

Custody Battle Tips

If a custody battle cannot be resolved through discussions with a lawyer or mediator, it will go to court. A family court judge will hear the case and make a custody decision. Having legal guidance is always recommended and is even more important when a custody case reaches a court. An attorney experienced in custody fights can prepare an excellent case, illustrating why the client should receive custody of the children.

Child custody lawsuits are expensive, lengthy, and may involve witnesses. During these legal proceedings, both parents and children can be placed under a considerable amount of stress. Therefore, most parents want to quickly win custody of kids and move on with their lives. Understanding the factors that courts consider can help a parent increase the chance of being awarded custody.

The best interest of the children is the primary consideration. To determine this, courts look at several factors including the physical and financial ability of each parent to provide children with essentials. Mental and physical medical history of each parent and the children are reviewed. Age and sex of each child is also considered and children at least 12 years old may be asked about their custody preferences.

Though both parents may wish to have custody, the emotional bond between each parent and the children may not be equally strong and this will be considered. Parental habits and vocational choices may also affect a custody decision. Even the willingness of a parent to support the relationship of children with the other parent can have an impact so parents not speak ill of each other.

A custody battle may not be decided by providing one parent with custody. Courts commonly award partial custody to each parent, a situation called joint custody. Parents may receive joint physical custody where children split time between them. They may also have joint legal custody that requires them to agree on decisions affecting the children. Ultimately, the court will decide based on the best interest of each child according to the case presented.

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22 thoughts on “Keys to Winning a Custody Battle”

  1. I didn’t know that if a child custody case can’t be concluded via a discussion with an attorney, a family court judge will make the decision. My cousin and his wife are separated right now and thinking of filing for divorce. They have twin girls, so it seems important they find a family law attorney in Seattle, WA to help them settle a custody decision.

    1. Correct, that’s exactly how it works and the point of having the courts and a judge involved. Depending on their situation, they may be able to get away with one of them hiring an attorney for what is called an “uncontested divorce.” This would be a situation if both parents are essentially on the same page with everything: from division of assets, to parenting time / visitation and custody.

      This process can be fast and as painless as possible given two people that want to dissolve their marriage on amicable grounds.

      The first step to work towards an uncontested divorce would be to put together a list of the big-ticket items and see how far apart they are from each other.

      1. Custody and parenting time / visitation;
      2. Division of Assets;
      3. Allocation of debts; and
      4. How do we deal with potential future modifications.

      In most instances, an experienced divorce attorney can tell two people that are divorcing amicably how a judge ‘likely’ would rule should they end up fighting it out for 2-years and end up in a 3-day trial where they each spent $50,000 on attorneys fees. Obviously, this advice is to be taken seriously so that a prolonged battle that ends in everyone hating each other and everyone being broke can be avoided if possible.

      So, have these two sit down and discuss the big-ticket items and see where they stand. They might be on the same page, and if not, maybe they can narrow the issues they disagree with and limit the disagreements so they can focus on what is most important: their children.

  2. I am in Missouri.
    I have full physical custody and shared legal custody.
    My ex wife met someone in a assisted living facility in which she was living. She obtain a free lawyer and filed for divorce which was finalized on June 24. She requested to have weekend visitation and I can have everything as long as she did not get my debt Nancy it’s snaptube thanks for and did not have to pay child support.
    I have been getting harassing messages at least once or twice a month that are just random. And now her new husband is sending messages also. She constantly is canceling without 24 hour notice and decided to move to another town. according to the custody agreement I am financially responsible for dropping our daughter off at her residence for visitation..
    My ex-wife and her new husband are mentally ill. I am not talking negative I mean they are diagnosed and on disability for mental illness. This creates a very unstable environment because they have only known each other for about 8 months. I hate that my daughter is caught in the middle of this. She is only 8 years old. when my daughter was sick I requested her not to smoke around her because the doctor said that her lungs are tight. She continued to do so denying that it was hurting her.
    I do not smoke drink or do any drugs nor do I have any prescription medicine. I have never been in jail prison or any other incarceration types. I do not even cuss and I monitor what she watches. They do not own any rated R movies in our home.
    I just want what is best for my daughter. A lawyer will cost about $1,500. I am a single father with a single income.
    I spoke with a lawyer for a consultation. She said that I should do a modification of custody and I should at least have the my daughter at least every other weekend. It will cost about $135 to represent myself and do a modification. I just hate that I have to keep paying because she is not following the rules. It seems like she should have to pay if she is breaking the rules. But I guess that’s not how the system works.

  3. I liked that you said that one reason to consider hiring an attorney when trying to receive custody of a child is to ensure proper representation in the courtroom. I have been thinking about trying to represent myself in court to try to win custody of my daughter but I am worried that I won’t be able to plead my case professionally. I will be sure to hire an attorney with experience so that I can have a professional fight for me in the courtroom in order to have a good chance of gaining custody.

  4. Hello, I am fighting for custody of my daughter. She is in another state with her mother resulting from our breakup. I believe to have a pretty solid case. I maintain a home, stable employment with substantial income. Ties to the community and a strong bond with my daughter. The mother lives in a apartment with her parents, no income and violent temper. Also, irresponsible in maintaining health insurance for our daughter, which i was able to immediately add her to my insurance. As of 3 weeks ago cut off all communication between myself and my daughter. Has on more than one occasion been a no show at arranged exchange times/place with the last time me driving out to there state, parking at a public place to only be told that I cant pick her up or even see her. I give her $ and purchase my daughters needs via a shared list on Amazon the she updates. My question is, I have filed for a custody, and was told that she has until the 15th to file an answer but what happens if she does not file an answer?

  5. My husband as I got his kids pretty much dropped off at our home the beginning of June, in that period of time their mother, whom has all legal custody of them, has seen them maybe four times in this period(From June-August) And she still collects $300 in child support that is not going to the kids by no means, school is coming up and I was the one who had to enroll them into a whole new school, their mother was no where to be seen. She didn’t have to work that day, she just didn’t feel like doing it. She is homeless. The kids live with us and we can’t even pay for a lawyer for any kind of custody due to the child support being taken out of his paycheck. I couldn’t work due to the change of schedule of having the kids be with us and we are really in a bind. I don’t understand how she is able to still have custody and still collect child support, not spend any of the support on the kids and we are struggling to keep food on the table due to now having two extra mouths to feed. We are not on any kind of government help and I have a two year old daughter with my husband. It’s hard to worry about feeding them because I don’t know what to do.

    1. She is able to keep getting child support because he has not gone back to court yet and filed for a modification of custody and a petition to terminate child support. He needs to do this immediately, and show proof that the kids have been with him for 2-months and that the mother can no longer take care of them. Yes, he is going to need legal help. You mention $300 in child support – is that per month? Think about it like this: if he gets the right legal help, maybe spends $1500, and then child support is stopped, that will save pay off in just 5-months and after that, it will be a savings to him! He needs to get help immediately. Fill out our form, and work out a payment plan with one of our expert child custody and father’s rights attorneys. Don’t waste anymore time!

  6. My ex husband and I have a daughter whom is 5 years old. I have had my daughter 90% of the time since birth and when he found out that I was getting remarried be decided to take me to court for custody. We went to court in sept of 2014 where I was cheated out of custidy of her. The only thing that they had against me was that I had moved 4 times in 2 years and each move was to better mine and my childrens lives. I showed proof where he would give up his visitations to go do something more that he loved. When he did decide to take her he always pawned her off to one of his family memebers as well. This has been a 6 month trial and over the past 6 months he has screwed up so much that its not even funny. I get visitation with her every other weekend. On the weekend he is suppose to have her he will leave her with his mother so that he can go hunting out of state or to parties. He has had 2 different girls move in with him and the newest woman has 2 smaller children whom keep her up all hours of the night on school nights. The most recent incident was this past weekend where she had the stomach virus and she was begging to stay with me because she knew that I would take care of her. So I text him and ask if I can keep her and he refuses to let me so I agree to have her home at the time that was court approved. When I take her to drop her off he wasn’t even there to get her. He has his dad drive to his house to pick her up. When I leave from his house I drive by his best friends place which was where he was for a super bowl party. He is always telling me how this is “his” daughter and he doesn’t need my help. Last time I checked Im pretty sure I carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her so she is my daughter as well. I need help getting this precious girl back with me where she belongs.

  7. Three kids with wife, age range 12-17 married 10 years. Pay for 90 percent of everything. Both work making close to the same. Rent house, she has defaulted on utilities and rent. I have most receipts for what I have paid for plus bank statements. The wife has lost all previous housing due to non payment. Found messages proving affairs have occurred. Children want to stay with me. What now?

  8. I have currently have lawyer, but I am not sure if he is going to fight as hard I think he needs to. I am starting to getting nervous. My ex has a history of drug use, he previously went to David Lawrence and has been diagnosed with genital warts. I understand that the court likes for both parents to share custody, but I have brought up how he is abusive with his 4 yr old daughter and recently was seen driving drunk with her in the front seat of his truck. When I try to explain to my lawyer I want full custody, I can’t trust he will take care of my son. He barely takes care of himself. I have been told by my lawyer at the end of the day that it is all on a piece of paper and that the judge/court will end up deciding. Please advise what to do. Do I need to get someone who will fight my case a harder? Please help!

  9. December Of 2012 my son’s father and I made a verbal one year agreement that my son live primarily with him following him being absent for a year due to military duties. At the time I was working hours that where not beneficial to my son. Keep him in my custody and shuffle him around to whoever could watch him while I work? Not an option for me. I was forced with a tough decision to make. After four hours of talk over the phone. My son’s father and I agreed it was in the best interest of my son to move in with his dad. So he drew up papers and my son was with him most of the time come january of 2013. For purposes of my possible relocation, I felt it in the best intrest of my son, to give his father sole custody. In the current plan it speaks of my possible intent to move out of state to be close to my parents who live in arizona. In july of 2014 I relocated to a new store with my company to be closer to my son who at the time lived two hours away. That way I could see him on all my days off as we agreed upon verbally. Let’s just say that quit happening as soon as my ex husband remarried. I have since relocated away from my son into a stable home in the same school district I would like my son to attend. He will be 4 march 8th 2014. He was in daycare until the remarriage of my ex husband. He was pulled out of daycare without my knowledge. It wasn’t until I asked for the daycare name and address that my ex husband admitted to pulling him out weeks ago. I have no history of drug use or anything of the sort. I was just a struggling mother trying to do the right thing. It is now past the one year mark and I would like to regain custody of my son. So he can have ample adjustment time before starting preschool this fall. If he stay’s in the fathers custody i’m afraid my child will be under developed. As of now he cant even say what letter his name starts with.

  10. I am A Father of a 7 yr. old girl who i raised Jointly with her mother untill she was 4 yrs. old Then me and the mother stopped talkin cause of numerous reasons and she put me on child support which is current and has been. But then everytime i wanted to see my child or create a visitation plan I was denied. So I hired a lawyer and took the case to court for my rights as a father to gain visitations the case took 3 yrs. before the judge made a decision and now my daughter is 7 and the judge ruled that i have to take a hair folicle test for marijuana and go through a parenting class before i can have supervised visits not even regular visits I have not commited a felony or had drug possession charges and i have always held a steady job and a home car ETC. I feel like this judgment was in favor of the mother because the case was in a small rural town and she is well known there is there anyway to get a change of venue and go back to court for a change in judment or is there another route you would recomend to take Thank you.

  11. I need to relocate to a different state and have joint custodyof my 7 year old daughter. I have provided a stable environment on my own, have my own place and have for the past 7 years. The father has lived wiht his partnes, never on his own and has only held a job for hte past 2-3 years. I lost myu job and nedd to relocate out of state. The Grandparents seem to have quite alot of control over my daughter, more so than the father, who has an interest, but cannot care for her without his parents. What are my chances to get full custody and take her with me out of state. If i cant take her right away, can I still file once i get settled?

  12. On Mon, May 13, 2013 at 5:16 PM, Autumn wrote:

    I am writing this letter because for quite sometime I have been unhappy with my life. Many things have happened in the past years, disagreeing with my mother, struggle with school, family and friend issues, finding myself, things that I could deal with but the past couple of years or so have been a real struggle and disaster for me. My mother and I almost never agree on anything, we have different opinions and views. I have tried several times to talk to her, try to stop us from fighting all the time but it is like she does not care, she never cares about what I have to say, when I try talking to her I am always wrong, my opinions, my feelings, all of it, it is all wrong to her because god says it is. I have discussed seeing a family therapist to help workout our problems, to try and get better understanding of each others points of views.Then discussed seeing a therapist for myself when she disagreed with my suggestion for a family therapist and she disagreed with that as well. A request that I believe would help me get more emotionally stable got denied because to her
    the only person I need to talk to is god. There has been many times where instead of allowing me to complete my school work I was told I had to engage in bible study with the family because my mother said God is more important than school/ my education. She has also told me she does not want me around my own sister that I look up to and has graduated from college with honors, because my sister wants me to be successful and encourages me to do well in school so that I will have a variety of different options to choose from when planning my future such as choosing a college which my mom says is not what God has in plan for me. I know almost every teenager argues and disagrees with their parents, does not want to hear that they are wrong or that they are not allowed to do something that they want to do and they think their life is so unfair but in my situation that is not always the case. I believe a change to a healthier living environment with my father where I could freely express how I feel, talk out my problem without feeling wrong and being able to complete all work and get the support I need to be successful would really benefit me.

    1. Family Law Advice

      What it sounds like you are looking for is one of two-options: 1. to become an emancipated adult (you sound quite mature), or 2. to have your father file for a change in custody. Just understand that a change in custody will not take place just because you tell the judge you’d rather live with your dad – that is oftentimes not good enough to facilitate a change in custody. Our father’s rights attorneys can speak with your dad and let him know what his chances of success are. Have him call our father’s rights team right away and we can help get him the family law help and advice he needs to get change the custody arrangement.

  13. please help me

    I have payed for everything for our son he has not bought a single diaper or pair of clothes and he is now 14 months. He never made time for him and he had made threats previously that he can not afford nor take care of our son but would take him away just to hurt me. He was recently in jail for battery against me.
    I need help i dont know how to get a georgia form for motion for sole custody. and im still paying for my son i really have no extra cash for a lawyer.

    1. familylawrights

      Trying to find some kind of form to file for custody is a bad idea. You need to speak with someone that can work with a payment plan to help draft a Petition for Temporary and Permanent Sole Custody. Wasting time doing so will lead to serious complications and risk you losing your rights. Call on friends and family for help immediately.

  14. My child’s father has had it pretty easy raising our daughter. than I finally get chld support through the state’ then he takes her for his visitation. Now he will not give her back. her gave me the wrong address . and wont contact me in any way. I finally got a tip where he would be and my daughter cried to go with me, when I went to take her with me. he stoped us. my daughter yelled ” daddy i wanna go with mommy” he ripped her out of my hands threw me I hit the pavement when I looked up he was gone I cant find her. He fild for custody when I went to the court house . he lied about all his info. he even got our childs birthday and inital wrong on paper work we have a hearing on the 15 but I am so worried my daughter was telling me he was feding her with lies like i dont love her. ect. cops wont do anything i am so lost I DONT KNOW WHAT TO HELP …. email me if you know anything to help me get my daughter back.
    I love my baby girl and he ripped everything out of my hands. please

    1. familylawrights

      This is no time to go it alone. You need a serious attorney that will fight for you. Without that, you do not stand a chance in court, even though you are not the bad party. Don’t wait any longer, call on your friends and family for help and speak to an expert right away!

    2. Jerilyn Mallari

      Get an attorney, FILE, and act quickly!. Familiarize yourself with the law in your state/county, pertaining to your situation.
      FILE WITH THE COURT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. it is costly, but it’s worth the sacrifice.

      As for your baby, considering the age and meantime while you are away from him or her… record a message for her regularly… so that if and when she gets older she’ll see the many times you’ve tried.

      Depending on the age, if your child goes to school, we have to do as much as we can to stay grounded. Contact the schools… be involved with his/her school, just to keep tabs on where they live.

      Other than that… I believe every parent has a right to be with their child.

  15. Father and mother of a 5 year old were never married AND Father has been taking care of all needs of daughter(for about 3+ years)—food, nice apartment, very nice bedroom OF HER OWN, Very nice clothing(although her school is uniforms) school environmental programs, environmental sciences and enjoyments–biking, camping, fishing, hiking, zoo, library, cook-outs, spiritual, swimming, traveling, and play dates within our complex. Thanks to Grandmother my daughter has Highlights and National Geographic, age appropriate , subscriptions as a Christmas gift every year. The mother has very little interest in daughter.
    The mother’s lifestyle, in her home and outside activities are gay–lesbian–cross dressers–drag queens and those with multiple piercings and tatoos.–I’m certain because I’ve seen pics. online and that is what she told me when she ask me “TO LEAVE” that she had a partner and she was lesbian and they wanted to live together. That’s when I made other living arrangements and my daughter and I left. It has been tough, BUT, my daughter is the most important person in my life, and her wants and needs are utmost–to establishing a constant atmosphere. Her mother never seemed to mind that we were leaving. She sees daughter, probably 20-30 days out of a year.
    We(daughter and I) are established in an excellent complex and my job is secure–as I just received a raise and an adjustment in my position. We have access to a pool–hot tub–2 playgrounds–gym opened 24/7–a business facility–a recreation room with wide screen t.v. so that we can schedule B.D. parties–and the school she is in(with her friends)Christa MaCuliffe Elem. is rated best in teacher/pupil ratio, extra-curr. acitivities, teacher education, etc.
    NOW–THE MOTHER WANTS CUSTODY ! ! ! ! I just recently found out–by being audited by IRS,
    that the mother has been claiming daughter as a dependent and taking every credit possible for having my daughter as her dependent. SO–I AM AUDITED AND SHE GOT THE MONEY–AND HAS BEEN DOING THIS FOR AT LEAST 2 YEARS.
    I do not have thousands of dollars to “fight”. I guess the reason the mother does is because she has been the one getting my tax refunds–which should have been for Daughter and Daddy.

    1. familylawrights

      Go to court and file to hold her in contempt of court for taking the tax deduction and for violating whatever parenting agreement you have entered. It sounds like you are a good parent and the other party is not. If you request mediation, the mediator will see this and you will stand a good chance at winning and keeping things as they are. Don’t let this parents lies overwrite your goodness!

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