If you're going through a divorce and you share children with your ex, get prepared for the potential of a long and drawn out custody battle. It's a sad but true fact that many divorces involving mutual children end with a child custody dispute that must be decided by a judge. If you plan on fighting for custody of your children, there are a few things you can do now to increase your chances of success—regardless of whether you're the child's mother or father.
Have an Evaluation Done
Did you know that you can have a professional perform a child custody evaluation on your behalf? The purpose of a child custody evaluation is to determine, without bias, how stable of a living environment a person can provide for a child. This report can then be used to your advantage in court--especially if your ex is trying to claim that you're not fit to raise or watch a child.
Watch What You Post
Now, more than ever, it's important to censor what you post on Facebook. Even if you're not friends with your ex or any of his or her friends/family, you should play it safe and assume that everything you post can be seen by your ex. Never post anything that could be used against you in your child custody dispute, no matter how secure your privacy settings on your page may be.
Be Financially Prepared
It's an unfortunate reality that child custody battles can be quite expensive; that's because they require a great deal of the court system's time, as well as a large amount of time from your attorney. Therefore, if you know you're going to be going through a custody battle, you may want to cut back on spending to ensure you have the funds you need to make the most compelling case.
Finally, be sure to carefully document anything you think you could use to your advantage (or to your ex's disadvantage) in court. For instance, was your ex late to pick your child up from school? Write it down. It might seem mean or vindictive, but the ultimate goal is to do what's best for your children and to provide your children with the most stable life possible. By keeping these tips in mind, you'll be well on your way to increasing your chances of success in winning your upcoming child custody dispute.