It is common knowledge that the number of divorces has been climbing steadily over time. According to the latest data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 782,038 divorces (45 reporting States and D.C.) in the US, with a divorce rate of 2.9 per 1,000 people in 2018.
However, getting a divorce is an emotionally and financially stressful process, especially when children are involved. In an unamicable divorce, the battle for child custody can often turn into an ugly fight.
In the end, the court will consider what is in the best interest of you children and a few other factors, depending on your case, when awarding custody. So, as one of the most experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, we often advise our clients to be prepared, irrespective of whether you are a father or a mother.
Here are five tips that can help present your case in the best light and even help you win the custody of your child.
1. Try to Negotiate the Custody
In most divorce cases, you may get a chance to resolve the issue of child custody amicably. Although this isn’t necessarily a part of the legal proceedings, usually experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, will recommend to you to create a parenting plan through mutual negotiations.
The most significant advantage of this approach is that you can avoid a costly and lengthy custody battle. You will be able to save considerable money and time. Furthermore, your children won’t have to face the mental stress of a custody battle in addition to the divorce. In fact, the cordial parenting environment can help your children overcome the mental stress of your legal separation relatively quickly.
2. Don’t Let Your Emotions Run Wild
Staying calm and collected is perhaps the most critical factor to consider when fighting for your child’s custody. Irrespective of how the opposition behaves, you must keep your emotions under check.
Usually, a judge will take your behavior into account when deciding on child custody. If your behavior strikes as erratic or aggressive, the opposition will use it against you. It may compel the court to rule in your spouse’s favor.
Your spouse will also try their best to establish that they are a good parent. However, in most cases, the judge will be able to detect if the opposition is trying to be someone they are not. That’s why you can’t lose your emotional balance at any cost. So, avoid talking to your spouse if it is likely to cause an emotional outburst.
3. Understand Your Legal Rights First
The next important step is to understand the family law in Minnesota. In a child custody battle, you must understand your legal rights as a parent. While you can do some basic research on your own, make sure to consult experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN.
A skilled lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and how to exercise them. For example, after taking a look at your case, the lawyer will be able to tell you whether joint custody is your best bet, or you can ask for sole custody.
Be honest with your lawyer. Don’t invent stories to put yourself in the best light. It will backfire during the court proceedings, taking away your chance of winning joint custody, let alone sole custody.
4. Perception Always Matters
You may not like it; however, perception is often everything in a custody battle. You must try your best to present yourself as a competent, responsible, and loving parent. A seemingly harmless text message, email, or social media post can be entered into the court proceedings and used against you.
Be careful of who you talk or write to, especially when communicating with your spouse or their friends and family members, and lawyers. It is better to communicate through your attorney as far as possible.
Also, make sure to dress properly and speak politely during your court hearings and meetings. Always be on time for court hearings, visits, meetings, and picking up your kids. Being late can be perceived as irresponsible behavior, which is likely to affect your chances of winning custody.
5. Keep Your Kids’ Wellbeing at the Front-and-Center
The last thing you want to do is to use your kids as pawns or tools to win the custody battle. Any experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, will advise you against the idea of putting your children in the courtroom or on the witness stand. In fact, you should keep your children out of the courtroom and your divorce proceedings.
You should never vilify your spouse to turn your children against them. Also, never exaggerate the shortcomings of your spouse. You should never talk negatively about your ex at all. What matters in the court proceedings is evidence, not your opinion. So, keep them to yourself.
If your children ask you difficult questions, try to be positive. Any lies you tell your kids will eventually backfire, causing more harm than good to your case. Make sure to share only the facts your kids can handle. You needn’t burden them with the stress of your divorce. Talk to an expert such as a child psychiatrist, if needed.
When children are involved, child custody becomes the most critical aspect of a divorce. In most cases, the court considers what is in the best interest of children when awarding custody rights to parents. However, you do need to talk to an experienced custody lawyer to increase your chances of winning a custody battle. Hopefully, these five tips will help you make an informed decision about your custody battle.
Call the Most Experienced Custody Lawyers in Buffalo, MN.
Going through a divorce is emotionally stressful. As one of the most experienced custody lawyers in Buffalo, MN, Carlson & Jones, P.A. will help present your case in the best light. Depending on the circumstances of your case, our expert lawyers will try their best to increase your chances of winning child custody. Call us on (855) 976-2444 or contact us online to know more about our legal services.