Sorting things out within the American system of child custody law can be a challenge, even if both parents are trying to deal with things amicably. There are some things, though, that every child custody attorney will tell their clients to do long before a case ends up in court. Here are four tips for getting ready for a child custody case.
Write Down Everything
Even if everything seems to be going along smoothly, it's still wise to write down the basic information about every interaction. Purchase a legal pad and a few pens to make notes of things like when the other parent called, any times they picked the kid up and when the child was dropped off, too. If anything concerning happened, write that down. Make sure every note includes dates and times.
Never depend on your smartphone to be your notepad. You don't want to mess a case up because your phone fell into a storm drain. There is no substitute for contemporaneous, handwritten notes. Make copies of your notes for use in conferences with your child custody attorney.
Don't Deny Access to the Other Parent
Unless you have a court order limiting the other parent's access to the child, don't get into this sort of fight. If you're worried about abuse or potential parental kidnapping, that's a different situation. However, you should seek a court order as soon as possible.
If you're the parent being denied access, don't get into a fight over things. Take good notes and contact a child custody law firm to discuss your situation.
Avoid a Major Move
One thing that surprises a lot of folks is that parents moving away long distances may be cause for court action. Generally, the courts believe children need both of their parents in their lives. Even if you have primary custody, do not decide to move a long distance without the court's permission. In the worst scenario, this may be interpreted as kidnapping or denying the other parent access.
Square Your Living Arrangements Up
A stable living environment for a child is required for both the person with primary custody and the one with less time with the kid. Few arguments are as compelling in child custody law as showing evidence that the other parent isn't in a position to have a kid sleep in their house. Make sure the food supply is reasonably stocked. Keep your place tidy, too.
For more information, contact a child custody attorney in your area.