Child custody cases are used to determine the best living situation for a child. Various methods are used to determine the character of the persons wishing to be granted custody, as well as their ability to care for the child. Sometimes parents can arrange for custody without having to have a hearing, however, if they are unable to come to a suitable agreement, then they must go through a child custody hearing. This is done before a judge, who makes the final decision. Many years ago, when child custody cases were just beginning, often the judge would grant custody to the mother. However, in recent years, it seems that judges are now more likely to consider what is truly in the best interest of the child when they make their decisions. In order to win a child custody case, the parent will need to prove that it is in the best interest of the child for them to be granted custody. The parent will need to realize that their parenting style and almost all aspects of their lives will be scrutinized as they prepare for the upcoming trial.
One of the most important ways to win a child custody case is to keep accurate, detailed records about all things concerning the child. Simply telling the judge that a parent is the best person to raise the child will not likely be enough to convince the judge, he or she will need to see for themselves that this is true. It may also help to video interactions with the child on a regular basis so that the judge may see how the child interacts with the parent. Other things that may influence the judges decision to award custody is be being the parent that takes the child to the doctor or dentist as this shows them as the nurturing parent. Planning vacations and special outings with the child also shows the judge that quality time is important. Whenever possible, witnesses to the parents character and involvement level should be brought in to speak with the lawyers or have hand-written, notarized statements. The final way to win a child custody case is to not only show the positive things about the parent, but also the negative aspects of the opposite parent. This should be done very carefully so that the parent doesn’t make themselves look bad as well without meaning to. From a staff member of the Evans Family Law Group, an Austin child custody lawyer.
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