When it comes to custody disputes, you should know that your children's best interests are what are most important. At the end of the day, a dispute that goes to trial will result in a judge ruling for what they believe will most benefit the children involved.
Since you know that your ex-spouse isn't going to budge on their custody request and you aren't going to give them what they want without a fight, you need to prepare to go through litigation.
Preparing for a custody battle
To start with, it's usually good to try to avoid these kinds of battles, because you and your ex-spouse will likely have to interact with each other in the future and be able to see one another without conflict. However, sometimes the only option is to go to court and to make your case.
To prepare for a custody trial, you can do a few things. These include:
- Considering your living arrangements and making sure they're suitable for children.
- Making sure you are taking an active role in your children's lives, so that you know important details about them, like their allergies, favorite subjects at school and others.
- Trying to be cooperative with your ex-spouse. Yes, even if you can't agree, showing that you can be respectful in your responses will go a long way in court.
To be able to win a custody battle, you'll need to be well-prepared and have documentation that supports any claims you want to make. Phone and visitation logs, observations you have made about your child's well-being and changes in their behavior, text messages and emails could all be good information to provide to the court.
Witnesses may come to the court to speak on your behalf or on the behalf of the other parent. It's a good idea to have a few witnesses available who can talk about the role you play in your child's life and to point out the positive impact you have on them.
You will also want to talk to your attorney about what to wear and the etiquette required in court. Judges do consider the way you look, how you present yourself and the way you act. If you are late and have messy hair and poor hygiene, for example, it would not reflect well on you as a parent. Looking your best and being respectful should be a priority.
Your attorney will talk to you more about the specifics of your case and what to expect moving forward.