In every disputed custody case, the difficult decision facing the judge is who should have custody of the children and what parenting time the non-custodial parent should receive. The trend between litigants is seeking something close to equal time with the children. Whatever your objective, there are simple tips you can used to help your case for custody.
First, don’t be the parent who makes an issue out of everyday and normal deviations in parenting time a “war.” Under best interest standard, a judge considers who will do the most to facilitate the other parent’s time and help him or her make the most of their time with the children. Be the parent who goes the extra mile.
Second, watch out for verbal and non-verbal expressions that indicate that you do not view the other parent on equal ground as a care-giver. Classic examples are using phrases like “my” children. Remember and make it clear you value the other parent’s right to participate in the children’s lives.
Third, do not be critical of the other parent’s parenting style. Certainly there are parenting shortfalls that raise to the level of neglect. However, most are not. Different types or styles of parenting are not right or wrong—they are just different.
Fourth, don’t victimize or villianize the other parent. For example, if a parent has a substance abuse problem. The is brought out in court in how it impacts the children. Everyone has problems, but it is how it impacts the children that is what is a concern to the court.
Fifth, it seems obvious, but many litigants put on their custody case without showing how it will work; why is what you want in the children’s best interests and how will it work on a daily basis. The best of cases sometimes fall apart because there is no practical way for it to work.
This blog post is written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle custody cases in Indiana. We hope this blog post provides you with valuable information to help your lawyer help you and the judge see the best of you and your legal goals. This is not specific advice or a solicitation for legal services.