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The Hawkins Law Firm

160 N. Brindlee Mountain Parkway
Arab, AL 35016

How to Win Your Child Custody Case

Cheerful father and son playing at park

If you are going through a divorce, separation, or are otherwise fighting for custody of your kids with a co-parent, there are many ways to strengthen your case. There are also several pitfalls to avoid that could ruin your arguments for custody. Alabama family courts care first and foremost about the best interests of the children. Any decision they render will be focused on ensuring the wellbeing of the kids from their point of view. Read on for some tips on how to win your custody case, and call a seasoned and capable Alabama child custody lawyer for help with your child custody case or other Alabama family law matter.

Be Open and Honest

Some parties to a divorce get the idea that the best way to win a custody case is to tear down the other parent in any way possible. They may consider inventing parental failings, mental problems, drug activity, violent tendencies, or any other problem they can think of to demonstrate that their co-parent is a bad parent and a danger to the children. While these issues are undoubtedly important if true, fabricating any such allegations is more likely to ruin a party’s case than help them win. If a court learns that one party has been fabricating such claims, the court is liable to give primary or even full custody to the other parent. Bring up legitimate issues, but do not lie to your attorney or the court.

Raise Legitimate Issues

The above point notwithstanding, if you have proper concerns about the wellbeing of your children based on the nature and behavior of the other parent, discuss these concerns with your attorney and raise them to the court. Important concerns include, but are not limited to:

● Criminal activity or association with criminals
● Violent behavior or tendencies
● Drug or alcohol abuse
● Physical or emotional abuse directed towards the children
● Physical or emotional abuse towards the other parent
● Placement of the children in dangerous situations at home or in public
● Fitness of their living situation for children

If you have any reason to believe that your children would be in danger should they be in the custody of their other parent, it is vital to bring these issues to the attention of the court.

Be Flexible and Spend Time With Your Kids

The court cares first and foremost about the best interests of the children. That means that you, as the parent, are adapting to their schedule, not the other way around. If your work or social schedule is preventing you from spending time with your kids or are interfering with your children’s school or leisure activities, then you are a less attractive parent in the eyes of the court. Being willing to modify your work or personal schedule to make time for your children will go a long way in your custody battle. Showing that you have made space for regular quality time with your children during the divorce or after separating from your ex shows that you are a devoted, interested parent. Conversely, if you let your animus towards your ex or the complications of post-separation life get in the way of your time with your kids, the other parent may be able to use that against you when arguing for custody.

Be the Bigger Person

Your credibility in the eyes of the court is your strongest asset. If the court sees you as professional and courteous towards your ex, and that you are willing to negotiate and compromise, the court is likely to take you at your word and view you as a positive role model for your kids. When your ex goes low, you go high; in the eyes of the court, you will be the stronger parent for it.

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