Peterson Paletta Balice

How to Win Child Custody During a Divorce

Grand Rapids & Ionia Attorneys

Child Custody Attorneys Grand Rapids Ionia Mi

First, you’ll need to hire an experienced divorce attorney. They’ll be able to help you through the process of winning child custody and answer any of your questions.

The judge will award custody based on your child’s best interests. This means that you’ll need to prove that you’re a loving, attentive, and stable parent.

Here’s what else you’ll need to know about winning child custody.

Know How Family Court Works

In the past, judges assumed that children were always better off with their mothers. But this is changing.

Many family court judges believe that joint child custody arrangements are the answer. That way, the child benefits from having both parents in their life.

An obvious exception would be if one of the parents is abusive. Under those circumstances, the non-abusive parent would get sole physical custody.

Another exception may be if your child is very young, such as a baby or toddler. In that case, the judge may award sole custody to the primary caregiver.

If you wish to win sole child custody, you’ll need to prove that you are the “better parent.” In other words, you’ll need to prove that you contribute more to your child’s physical and psychological well-being than your ex-spouse.

Judges will look to see if you can communicate and get along with your ex-spouse for the sake of your children. Also, make sure that you show up on time for court, dress appropriately, and be respectful.

How you act in the courtroom will affect how the judge perceives your parenting ability.

Related: Mastering the Business of Family Law →

Request an In-Home Custody Evaluation

Are you worried that your ex-spouse may try to smear your reputation? If so, you may want to request an in-home child custody evaluation.

An evaluator will come to your home to observe how you interact with your children. They will also observe the children at your ex’s home.

Keep in mind that the evaluator isn’t your friend or on your side. They will remain impartial while deciding whether you’re a good parent.

Document Any Child or Spousal Abuse

If your ex-spouse is abusive, you’ll want to gather as much evidence as possible to prove it. Medical records of injuries are a great place to start. Also, make sure you document you and your children’s interactions with your ex-spouse.

When you come to court, make sure that you have all your documentation with you.

Rethink Joint Custody

Many people seek sole child custody because they believe they are the better parent. But you will have a higher burden of proof if you wish to pursue sole custody.

Proving that you are the “better parent” can be difficult. Especially if both you and your ex-spouse were attentive to the children.

Under these circumstances, a judge may decide that joint child custody is best.

Request a Legal Consultation

Don’t go through a divorce alone. Our divorce attorneys are ready to help you every step of the way. Also, be sure to check out our blog post on the 5 benefits of filing for divorce first.

To request a legal consultation, please call one of our law firms in Grand Rapids and Ionia. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

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