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Jeffrey L Hoffer, 805 Divorce and Family Law Attorney


How to Increase Your Chances of Gaining Custody


In a hotly contested custody dispute, even if you are a good parent, you may not get custody of your children.Therefore, it is important that you do everything you can to increase your chances of getting custody. Here are 8 ways that will improve the odds in your favor:

1. Keep extensive documentation. You should, on a daily basis, record the events of the day relating to your children and your dedication to being a good parent. The more comprehensive your notes, the better.

2. Understand the law relating to custody. The better you understand the factors that a court considers in deciding who gets custody, the better equipped you are to use that knowledge to your advantage.

3. Retain a good divorce lawyer. For this complicated and emotional area of law, the advice of a good divorce lawyer will maximize your chances of obtaining custody.

4. Be prepared to spend a lot of money. Legal battles over custody are very expensive. There are costs for interim motions, custody evaluations and investigative work. As well, many of these cases proceed to trial, which is also very expensive.

5. Have a child custody evaluation done by a reputable professional.Getting a favorable recommendation will strengthen your case considerably, as most of the time the court will follow the recommendations in the assessment report.

6. Theory of the case. Unless your spouse has been grossly neglectful or abusive towards your children, it is best not to concentrate on your spouse's shortcomings, as you will appear spiteful rather than as a parent concerned about your children's best interests. Rather, your theory should be that your spouse is alright as a parent, but you're even better. Stress your positives rather than your spouse's negatives.

7. Behave well. In the stress of a divorce, coupled with a custody battle, it is easy to lose your temper or to criticize your spouse in front of the children. However, any bad behavior on your part is sure to be brought up in court by your spouse.

8. Stay involved in your children's lives. It is very easy to get so caught up in the legal proceedings, your emotions and your disagreements with your spouse, that you have little energy left for your children. You must ensure that you continue to take an active part in your children's life.

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