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Preparing for a Child Custody Battle

 Posted on October 22, 2015 in Child Custody

child custody battle, Naperville IL divorce attorneyGoing through a divorce is stressful, expensive, and emotionally draining. Add children into the mix, and the situation becomes even more difficult. Even the most amicable of divorces involving children have their tense moments, as parents do their best to establish a plan for raising their children post divorce. Many parents, however, face less than amicable spouses that intend to fight against them for the custody of their children. Fighting for child custody is one of the most difficult, emotional processes a parent can go through. A child custody battle should not be taken lightly, and involves serious preparation by any party that intends on being involved in the child’s life. If you foresee a difficult court battle against your spouse, these steps can help you prepare for your time in court.

Find an Attorney

For those fortunate enough to be divorcing amicably, hiring an attorney may not be necessary. Many parents that divorce peacefully are able to negotiate a custody agreement that works for both of them outside of court. If you anticipate a fight from your ex, however, hiring a qualified attorney is extremely important. Your ex, if they intend to fight against you for child custody, has likely already hired an attorney, so it is important that you find representation for yourself.

Many attorneys offer free consultations where you can explain your situation, and they can explain how they would help. Remember to look for attorneys that have experience dealing with high conflict child custody battles. During your search, interview a few different attorneys and find the one you feel most comfortable with. You will most likely be sharing very personal details of your life with this person, so feeling relaxed around them is key. On top of that, you need to be able to trust that this person will successfully advocate for the most important thing in your life, your child.

Prepare for Court

Take ample time to prepare if you anticipate an ugly court battle. Your spouse will likely highlight all of the reasons you do not deserve custody of your child. Coming from a person you once loved and married, this can be devastating. In the days leading up to court, do your best to abstain from personal attacks on your spouse. Remember that anything you say, type, or write could end up being used against you. Do not give your ex any ammunition to use against you, no matter how personally they are attacking you. Instead, seek support from friends and family members.

Where it was once the norm for children to end up with their mothers, and fathers to end up paying child support, is not the case for modern day separations. Judge’s consider a variety of factors when determining child custody. Their goal is to advocate for the best interest of the child. Factors like home life, parents' work schedules, income levels, and the child’s wishes can all be taken into consideration. If you foresee a difficult day in court, come prepared with evidence that supports your claim for custody. Gather bank statements that show income, a copy of your work schedule, and other important documents that show that you are capable of providing a stable environment for your child. Spend the time leading up to your court battle documenting your daily life with your child. Make a note that you attend school activities, or that you take your child to the doctor and the dentist. Spend quality time with your child. Travel with them. Do everything you can to show that you are the fittest parent for primary custody and that you intend on providing a loving, nurturing lifestyle for your child.

While personal attacks against your spouse prior to your court date are best avoided, your actual time in court is the perfect opportunity to provide some examples of why your ex is an unfit parent. Does your spouse have an intense work schedule? Be prepared to show that. Do they have abusive habits, addictions, or other characteristics that would make them unfit to parent? Have proof to support your claims. Proper documentation is key in helping you win the fight for your child.

Take Care of Yourself

The high levels of stress and mix of emotions can be both physically and mentally draining. While fighting for your children, it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. Arriving in court looking prepared, well rested, and clearly able to parent is crucial. Despite the tension, do your best to get a good night of rest before your court date. Come to court dressed professionally. You need to show that judge that you can take care of yourself before you will be trusted with caring for a child on your own.

If you are facing a child custody conflict, a qualified Naperville, Illinois divorce attorney is available to assist you. Contact the Pesce Law Group at 630-352-2240 to schedule an initial consultation with a qualified attorney.


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