If you are going to court over child custody, there are a couple tips that can help you achieve your parenting plan goals. You need to be prepared to present your request with information to support the custody arrangements you'd like in the future.
Some parents end up going to court unprepared. Fortunately, if you read about these tips and work closely with your attorney, you'll have the information you need when you arrive to speak with the judge. Here are three things you should keep in mind.
1. Don't combine custody and support conversations
Even if you mean well, it's not a good idea to bring up custody and child support at the same time. If you don't want to pay as much as the guidelines require, then the court may assume you're seeking more time with your kids to pay less to your ex. That's never a good way to start a case. Instead, focus only on custody and create a conversation that discusses why the plan you want helps your child the most.
2. Create a visual of the schedule
Do you want to see if you're being fair? Do you need to make sure you didn't miss anything in your proposed custody arrangements? Draw a calendar of the year and highlight the days you'll have your child in one color and the other parent's time in another.
This can be a good way to show how much time you really have and if there are any lengthy times when your child will go without the other parent. It's a tool to better visualize how often your child will see you or the other parent, and it's also one to help both of you better respect each other's wishes.
3. Try to be on good terms with the other parent
What may be most beneficial, even if you have to go to court, is being on good terms, or at least civil terms, with the other parent. If you can be respectful in court and present calm, collected arguments to the judge without name-calling or other rude behaviors, then you'll have a great opportunity to show your professional attitude and appropriateness as a caretaker of your child. A little respect goes a long way in the eyes of a judge.
These tips could help you in court. Be respectful and know what you're asking for.