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How Can I Fight for My Child’s Custody?

Divorce or breakups are difficult experiences for parents and children alike. Splitting up can be especially hard on the children, who may feel torn between their parents. One way to make things easier is to ensure that both parents have an active role in their child’s life, even if they no longer live together.

Custody battles are one of the most difficult experiences a family can go through. If you are in a custody dispute, you're likely feeling scared, overwhelmed, and alone. The good news is that you're not alone. Thousands of parents find themselves in your shoes every year. And while winning custody of your child won't be easy, it is possible. Here are a few tips to help you fight for custody of your child.

Fighting for Child Custody

Our blog will discuss how a parent can fight for custody of their child after divorce or separation. We will look at legal strategies and practical steps that you can take to increase your chances of gaining custody of your child. Understanding the options available and being prepared with evidence can give you the best chance of success in fighting for custody rights.

Are you looking for sole physical custody, which means the child would live with you and visit the other parent? Are you seeking joint physical custody, which would involve the child living with both parents for an equal amount of time? Are you looking for legal custody, which gives you the right to make decisions about your child’s education, health care, and religious upbringing? Or are you seeking a combination of these arrangements?

Types of Child Custody

There are two types of child custody: physical and legal. Physical custody refers to where your child will live. Legal custody, on the other hand, refers to who will make decisions about your child's education, health, and welfare. In most cases, physical and legal custody are awarded to one parent or shared between both parents. However, there are some cases where one parent is awarded sole physical and legal custody of a child.

Fighting for child custody can be a long and difficult process. However, if you are prepared and have a strong case, you increase your chances of being awarded custody of your child.

Who Typically Gets Child Custody in California?

In California, both parents usually have a role in the child's life after a divorce or a breakup. Sometimes one parent will be given more custody rights than the other. A judge decides who gets custody rights.

Although many parents can work out an amicable agreement between themselves, some may find themselves in a situation where they have lost custody of their child and need help gaining it back. This can be incredibly tough for any parent, but there are steps that can be taken to help fight for your rights as a parent and potentially regain custody.

Factors Which Determine Child Custody

When deciding on child custody, courts will consider a variety of factors. Some of the factors courts take into consideration include:

  • the child's relationship with each parent
  • each parent's ability to provide a stable home environment for the child
  • each parent's work schedule
  • each parent's mental and physical health
  • any history of domestic violence or substance abuse
  • which parent is more likely to encourage a relationship between the child and the other parent
  • the child's wishes (if the child is old enough to express a preference)
  • text messages, emails, or social media posts that show the other parent is unfit
  • photos or videos that show the other parent engaging in illegal activity or behaving inappropriately around children

Courts may consider other factors as well. It's important to speak with an attorney to find out what other legal strategies may be relevant in your case.

Can Legal Strategies Increase My Chances of Gaining Custody?

If you are looking to fight for your child’s custody, the first step is understanding the legal process. Depending on your jurisdiction, there are different processes that must be followed. Generally speaking, a parent will have to file a petition or motion with the court and serve it on the other parent to initiate a formal request.

To increase your chances of being awarded custody, it is important to show that you have been an active and involved parent up until now. If possible, provide documentation such as text messages, emails, or calendar entries that show your involvement in your child’s life.

1. Hire an Attorney

This may seem like an obvious step, but it is important to have representation in court. An experienced attorney will know how to navigate the legal system and present your case in the best light possible. They will also be able to help you understand your state's laws and what the likely outcome of your case might be.

2. Gather Evidence

You will need to provide evidence to the court to prove that you should have some custody of your child. This can include things like school records, medical records, and letters from family and friends attesting to your character. It is important to remember that the court's main concern is what is in the child's best interest, so be sure to focus on evidence that supports why your child would be better off with you.

You may also need to demonstrate that you have a stable home environment and can provide for your child’s physical and emotional needs. This may include providing evidence of employment, housing, financial resources, and support systems such as family or friends who can help care for your child.

If possible, it is helpful to have witnesses who can attest to your parenting abilities or the other parent’s inability to care for the child. These could be teachers, coaches, babysitters, grandparents, or family friends.

3. Be Prepared for Court

Once you have gathered your evidence, it is time to prepare for court. This means practicing what you will say and ensuring that you can remain calm and collected when testifying. Dressing respectfully and avoiding inflammatory language or gestures are also important. Remember, you want the judge to see you as a responsible parent who puts your child's needs first.

While a judge will decide who gets to spend time with the child, you can do things that might make it more likely for that person to be you. A lawyer can help explain what evidence you need to show the judge why you should have custody of your child.

While there is no guarantee that you will win custody of your child, following these steps will give you the best chance possible. Hiring an experienced attorney, gathering evidence, and preparing for court are all key components of fighting for custody. Keep in mind that the court's primary concern is always what is in the child's best interest, so make sure that everything you do supports that goal.

Contact Chung & Ignacio, LLP today.