Child custody cases are some of the most stressful cases. Parents, children, and extended family members are all on edge during a child custody case and the stress can negatively impact families so much that litigants sometimes give up. Following these 5 common sense pointers can help you get through your child custody case with less stress and anxiety:
- Retain an experienced competent child custody attorney that you trust. Some general practitioners will say that they handle child custody cases and perhaps they do, but it is best to hire someone who has litigated in the county where your case will be heard, who has appeared before the judges, and knows the local procedure. An experienced custody lawyer is one who has extensive continuing legal education credits that focus on custody litigation and who litigates custody cases on a regular basis.
- Stay calm and collected. It is inevitable that your emotions will be all over the place
during your child custody case. It is very important to stay calm and refrain from saying or doing anything that you don’t want a judge to hear about in the courtroom. This means that you should not post anything on social media or put anything in writing including text messages that can be used against you. You should never leave a voicemail for the other parent when you are upset or frustrated.
- Follow your attorney’s advice and listen carefully. This is a very confusing time for you but if you trust your attorney and listen carefully to his or her advice, you have a better chance of success in your case. It is important to understand the law and how the judges may perceive your actions in your case. Listen carefully to your attorney even if he or she is telling you things you do not want to hear.
- Keep your focus on your child. Remember that the most important person in your custody case is your child. Pennsylvania courts focus on the best interests of the child. Judges are not concerned with either parent’s interests or personal struggles.
- Work cooperatively with the other parent to the extent possible. Unless you or your child are the victim of domestic violence, you should co-parent with the other parent cooperatively. Judges do not favor parents who cut the other parent out of making major decisions. Judges also dislike parents who dictate to the other parent on how to parent the child. Remember that both parents created the child and have equal rights to the child unless a court order says otherwise.