5 Ways to Help Win Your Child Custody Battle
Fighting for child custody is essential but exhausting work. Research and court opinion has long indicated that, with rare exceptions, a meaningful relationship between both parents is in a child’s best interests. Here are some ways you can increase the chances that you’ll receive a favorable child custody judgment.
#1. Get Involved in Your Child’s Life
Long Island courts are more likely to grant visitation and custody rights to a parent who is deeply involved in their child’s life. Attend your child’s doctor’s appointments, volunteer to take them to and from extra-curricular activities, get involved in their education, and be present at games, recitals, and other important events.
#2. Keep a Journal with Important Dates
It’s difficult to keep a mental log of what happens day in and day out during your child custody battle. It’s important that you have a journal to record important conversations, dates, etc. from both you and your child’s other parent. You should log both positive events, such as when you attend your child’s activities or called to speak with them, as well as negative ones.
If your ex refuses to allow you to speak to or see your children (if no protective order is in place) or actively limits your involvement in your child’s life despite your best efforts, you’ll also want to log these events with dates and times in your journal. If needed, your journal can be presented as evidence that logs how you attempted to be involved in your child’s life and how your ex prevented or discouraged a meaningful relationship between you and your child.
#3. Collect Evidence
Your journal is one piece of evidence, but is less credible than other types because it’s largely “he said, she said” information. Do your best to collect other, more concrete evidence to back up claims in your journal.
Save texts and download them to an outside server or in the cloud so they are not only stored on your mobile device. Do the same with social media posts and photos that may be able to illustrate your case more clearly. New York is a one-party consent state for inbound calls, meaning that if your ex calls you and you record the conversation, you do not need to obtain their consent to do so since you already meet the requirements of the consenting party.
You should also consider if you have friends or family members who would be willing to testify as a character witness, either for your good behavior or the other parent’s inappropriate behavior.
#4. Encourage the Child’s Relationship with the Other Parent
While in the past, courts appeared to automatically favor awarding custody to the mother, they now realize that a meaningful, equal relationship with both parents is essential to a child’s overall emotional growth and development. If your ex is encouraging parental alienation and working to keep you out of the loop as much as possible, the courts will heavily consider this as a deterrent to awarding them full custody. On the other hand, if you’re acting in good faith and encouraging your child to spend time with your ex, the court is likely to look more favorably upon you.
When you are visiting with your child, make sure they have access to call or talk to their other parent if they need to. Avoid saying negative things about your ex around your child, and make sure you give your child the impression that you and their other parent are working together as a team.
#5. Contact an Experienced Child Custody Attorney for Help
The most important thing you can do during a child custody matter is reach out to an experienced Long Island family law attorney for help. Defending your right to physical and legal custody of your child can be challenging in some situations, and nearly impossible to do on your own. It’s critical that you have the skills and expertise of a zealous legal representative on your side throughout your custody case.
At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we know how emotionally charged and challenging a child custody battle can be. We’re committed to offering you compassionate, caring, and aggressive representation when you need it most. Call today for a consultation at 631-923-1910.
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