If you and your spouse are facing a contentious divorce, you may have serious concerns about the outcome of your situation. While your fair share of asset division is important for your future, your primary concern may be for the custody of your children. The presumption that the mother automatically gets custody is fading into the past, and fathers are winning primary custody in about half of all divorces that involve children.
As a result, parents can no longer make assumptions about the way a custody hearing will turn out. In the time leading up to your court date, you will want to be especially careful to avoid any behavior that might have a negative influence on your petition.
Be on your best behavior
Judges no longer restrict themselves to the old philosophy that children should be with one parent or the other. Instead, the court takes into consideration many factors that may contribute to the best interests of the child. You may be a wonderful parent, but your actions are under intense scrutiny during a custody battle. Some behaviors may seriously hurt your efforts to gain custody of your children. You may damage your case by doing any of the following:
- Indulging your negative emotions in public
- Losing control of your anger against your spouse or child
- Failing to moderate your use of alcohol or drugs
- Not tempering your social media posts
It will be important for the judge to see how involved you are with your child's life. The court may call witnesses to testify in this matter. For example, a judge may be interested in the following:
- Your participation in the child's daily routine
- Your attendance at school functions
- Your knowledge of the child's playmates, preferences, and interests
- Your responsibilities concerning the child's welfare
Courts frequently consider the attitude of the parents toward each other as a crucial element in determining the best interests of a child. If you insult or disparage your co-parent in front of the child, the court may interpret that negatively.
Following good advice
Kentucky courts try to award custody based on the evidence that shared parenting time is good for children. Nonetheless, each family dynamic is unique, and your circumstances may require a different way of thinking. To ensure your best chances of obtaining fair custody, you would benefit from the counsel of an experienced family law attorney.
Following the advice of your legal counsel will be a crucial element in your custody battle. Your attorney has successfully handled many contested divorces, and by adhering to your counselor's solid advice, you may be able to avoid making mistakes that could cost you dearly in your custody fight.