Are you about to enter a custody battle? If so, read on to learn about the top tips for winning a child custody battle.

Every year, more than 800,000 divorces take place in the United States, and many of these divorces involve some kind of battle over which parent will have custody over the children.

Divorce is always a stressful event, but it gets even more complicated when there are children involved.

If you’re currently in the middle of a child custody battle, keep reading. Listed below are some tips that can help you come out on top and ensure you get to continue to see your children regularly.

Hire a Child Custody Attorney

The first step you ought to take if you’re involved in a custody battle is to make sure you have a good child custody attorney on your side.

A child custody attorney will help you determine your chances of winning your case and will guide you through the process.

They’ll also help you ensure you’re putting your best foot forward and doing everything you can to make yourself appealing to a judge.

Be Objective About the Situation

Before you get yourself wrapped up in a lengthy, dramatic battle, it’s also worth it to ask yourself whether or not you’re doing this for the right reasons.

Is this what’s best for your kids, or are you just trying to “get back” at your ex? Be brutally honest and be as objective as you can.

Be Objective About the Situation

Before you get yourself wrapped up in a lengthy, dramatic battle, it’s also worth it to ask yourself whether or not you’re doing this for the right reasons.

Is this what’s best for your kids, or are you just trying to “get back” at your ex? Be brutally honest and be as objective as you can.

Also remember, a child custody attorney can help give needed objectivity. A primary role of an attorney is to give counsel that is not biased by emotional attachment and interest in the outcome.

Exercise Your Parental Rights

Even when you’re going through a custody battle, you likely still have rights as a parent. Take advantage of your visitation rights and spend as much time with your children as you can.

This not only makes you look good to a judge, but it also helps ease the burden of divorce for your kids.

Be Willing to Work with Your Ex

No matter how angry you are with him or her, it’s imperative that you work with your ex as much as possible. Even if they’re not cooperating, remember that your willingness to reach across the aisle and be cordial will reflect well on you.

Request an In-Home Evaluation

An in-home evaluation provides you with an opportunity to prove that your home is fit for your children to live in (or continue living in). This can also be helpful if you think there’s a chance your ex will try to paint you in a negative light when talking to the judge.

An in-home evaluation can be done by licensed social workers, licensed relational therapy experts, or a court-ordered Guardian ad-litem.

Learn About Your Kids

It’s unfortunate, but, during a child custody battle, your love for and attentiveness to your children will likely be called into question. The more you know about your children (the names of their teachers, their hobbies, their medical needs, etc.), the better off you’ll be.

Try to Settle Out of Court if Possible

Settling out of court is almost always better for your children and is less stressful and expensive for you. If possible, try mediation or talking to your ex yourself. Only use going to court as a last resort.

Think About Your Image

When you’re going through a child custody battle, your image is everything. Do whatever you can to ensure people view you in a positive light.

Be on time for appointments, dress appropriately, and practice proper courtroom etiquette. Remember, every little detail matters.

Gather Evidence to Support Your Case

Be sure to gather evidence and documents that help to support your case. This might include information regarding interactions with your ex, for example, or their interactions with your children.

Make Decisions with Your Kids in Mind

Finally, remember to factor your children and their well-being into every decision you make. At the end of the day, this is all about them. If you’re causing them more stress or making life harder for them, you may need to rethink your approach.

Mistakes to Avoid During a Child Custody Battle

You now know what you should do if you want to win your child custody battle. There are also some things you ought to avoid to ensure you win your case.

Some common mistakes that could lead to your losing your case include:

Talking Negatively About Your Ex to Your Kids

It may be tempting to badmouth your ex in front of your kids, but you still need to refrain from it. This makes the divorce process harder for them, and it could reflect negatively on you if word gets back to your ex or their attorney.

Being Unreliable

Remember, your reputation is everything.

If you’re always late or have a habit of always rescheduling visits with your children, you’re going to look unreliable and will be less likely to get the custody agreement you’re hoping to get.

Abusing Alcohol or Drugs

It ought to go without saying, but if you’re found to be abusing alcohol or drugs while going through a custody battle, you’re going to have a hard time getting the custody agreement you’re looking for.

Making False Allegations About Your Ex

Making false allegations about your ex is another big mistake people sometimes make when going through a divorce. If you lie about your ex during mediation or in court, you’ll only end up hurting your own chances of winning your case.

Moving in with Someone New

Moving in with a new partner while you’re in the middle of a divorce most likely isn’t going to paint you in a positive light. It may seem like you’re only thinking of yourself and not of your children.

Refusing to do What the Court Asks

Finally, refusing to comply with the court’s requests is a surefire way to lose your custody battle.

Even if you don’t agree with their requests for things like parenting classes or drug testing, you need to comply if you want to win your case.

Hire an Attorney Today

As you can see, hiring a child custody attorney is one of the best steps you can take if you want to win a child custody battle.

Following these other tips will also help you increase your chances of winning your case, but hiring an attorney ought to be the first thing you do.

Do you need an attorney?

If you live in or around the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla, Spokane, or Yakima areas, we can help at Pacific Northwest Family Law. Contact us today to learn more about our services, or to schedule a meeting.