Balancing a divorce and child custody battle without help from an attorney can be frustrating and terribly overwhelming. There are likely to be several road bumps along the way, and who better to talk to than someone who understands the complex laws of divorce cases? To win custody of a child during divorce, one spouse must prove why they are the better parent. The court will be focused on what is in the best interest of the child, so supporting your claims with evidence is key.
What The “Better Parent” Standard Means
Many parents go into a hearing over child custody with the goal of obtaining sole custody of their child. Some parents may feel that the other parent is not a good role model and aren’t suitable to share custody. Any parent who walks into the courtroom hoping to win custody must be aware that there is a higher burden of evidence since the judge won’t be easily influenced into taking the other parent away from the child. Research shows that a child who grows up without both parents can be negatively impacted into adulthood.
It can be difficult to prove that one parent is the only one suitable to raise the child, but it isn’t impossible. A child custody lawyer, like a child custody lawyer in Fairfax, VA, can help you gather evidence to use during the hearing, such as letters from friends, family, teachers, and any other person who has witnessed your interactions with the child.
Physical and Psychological Well Being
The parent seeking sole custody will also have to show how they are able to take care of the child’s psychological and financial needs without support from their spouse. If you are seeking sole custody of your child during divorce, then you and your attorney must focus on these factors to support your petition:
- Physical Well Being: You can talk about your child’s daily routine, such as what time they wake up in the morning, their eating schedule, if they participate in after school sports or activities, and what time they go to bed at night. Judges usually notice parents who provide a consistent and healthy routine for children.
- Psychological Well Being: Unless there is a safety concern, family court judges tend to favor parents who are open to allowing their child to spend liberal time with the other parent. If there isn’t a legitimate reason for keeping the child from the other parent, then the parent seeking sole custody may be seen as getting in the way of their child’s psychological needs. Children need contact with each parent in order to grow into more confident and happy adults.
Joint Custody Considerations
In some cases, neither parent may be awarded sole custody. The judge may decide that both parents are suitable and will split the custody jointly. Parents may receive either joint physical or joint legal custody. With joint physical custody, the child is to spend time living with each parent. Joint legal custody means that both parents will have a say in the child’s needs such as healthcare and education.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into how to win custody of your child during divorce and what kinds of custody there are.