Do You Need Custody Of Your Child? What To Do

Shared custody is often best for the child. However, that sort of custody situation may not be appropriate for all children. In some instances, the health and well-being of the child could be in jeopardy if they are placed with the wrong parent. To help you get custody of your child, a step-by-step guide might be helpful. Read on and find out more.

How Custody Is Decided

Judges use a variety of information to help them decide on custody matters. At the heart of every child custody case is the well-being of the child. Whatever is determined to be best for the child determines how the judge will rule. Testimony, witnesses, police reports, and the wishes of the child, are considered before a ruling is rendered. The best interest of the child is of prime importance and that is judged by:

  • The relationship between each parent and the child
  • Educational, financial, and recreational resources of the parent
  • The work schedule and time demands on the parents

Talk to a Lawyer

Child custody laws vary by state, and a family law attorney can guide you in the right direction from the start. They can provide you with an overview as well as provide you with some homework to do. They might ask you to keep a journal about your interactions with the other parent, keep up with what your child says about the other parent, and more.

Complete the Forms 

Consult with your lawyer as you fill out the forms asking for child custody. In some cases, forms must be notarized before submitting. Also, you can anticipate having to use a process server to officially present the custody paperwork to the other parent.

Attend Mediation 

Not all states require this step, and some cases go straight to the hearing. Mediation, though, can help resolve custody issues outside of court.

The Hearing

Before your hearing, your lawyer will discuss what will happen and help you prepare. You will need to review things, such as witness statements, evidence and documents, and issues that led to your efforts to ask for custody. At the end of the hearing, the judge may make a decision on the spot, or they may decide later. Some may need more information about the situation and order a child evaluation to be performed.

To find out more about the process to obtain child custody, speak to a family lawyer.