Your children matter more than anything, and the importance of how you handle your custody proceedings at this time can not be understated. Custody battles are difficult, time consuming, and can be disastrous if not handled properly.
When going through a custody disagreement, effective legal representation can greatly impact the outcome of your case. To mitigate costs, sometimes a party can attempt to represent him or herself, but the results can sometimes be be more costly. An experienced attorney will know the ins and outs of the court system, the language needed and the proper routes with which to get a satisfactory outcome for you.
1. Be honest in your custody proceedings, both with your attorney and with the court. Dishonesty in a custody hearing will almost surely backfire. Even if it's tempting to smudge the truth in your favor, it's best in the long run to resist that temptation. Honesty is the best policy in any and every legal issue, and it's always the best measure for you.
2. Try to play fair. Yelling, threats, showing up unannounced, taking the child or children without notice: these are ways to potentially ruin your chances at optimal custody. Be smart, be a good parent, and make best efforts to be a good co-parent.
3. Try to keep mum about ill feelings you may have towards the other parent, especially to the children. Courts do not look kindly on a parent trash-talking another parent, and bringing a child in the middle of a contentious adult relationship is not only inappropriate, it is also not good for your custody case.
4. Always protect your children. If you feel your child may in a dangerous or abusive situation, contact your attorney and/or the authorities as soon as possible.
5. Always ask your lawyer questions when you are confused, and always get your attorney to clarify anything you do not understand. It is so incredibly important to have personal attention at this time and someone who is ready, willing, and educated enough to answer your questions, keep you updated on your case in terms you can understand, and talk to you about your concerns.