Marriage and divorce laws vary by state, so the state you reside in will determine the types of custody arrangements available to you. Nearly all states currently judge the custody of the child to be the parent who represents the best interest of a child irrespective of the gender. The factors that are considered by the court while making this decision include the age of the child and peculiar or specific needs; the parent’s fitness and ability to look after the child; any record of incidence of abuse or negligence; the bond that exists between the parent and child; and at times the choice of the children. Courts usually grant preference to the parent who would provide the child with the most favorable environment.
In the past, the U.S. legal system acknowledged that the right to child’s custody belongs to the woman anytime there is a custody dispute. However, this is no longer in existence today. The legal system currently recognizes that it is better for the children to be trained by both parents. So in the modern day, the US legal system progressively supports shared custody where both parents have custody of the child at different times. Today, before a mother will obtain full custody of her children, she needs to make it obvious that a shared custody or giving the father full custody would negatively affect the child or children.
Frequently, parents who aren’t custodial parents inquire how they can get custody of the child after the court has decided on the case.
The answer is not a straightforward one because child custody involves a lot of factors. In addition to this, the law varies from state to state. To gain custody of a child after the courts have previously granted physical custody to the other parent,follow the steps below:
How to get custody of a child
The first thing you need to do is to know about the laws of your state.
Hire a family law attorney who is specialized in divorce and child custody. An experienced child custody attorney will assist you and do his or her utmost to ensure that all the requirements of the application is met. He will also properly represent your case in court.
You must be open to a home evaluation. The court may demand a proper official child custody evaluation. During the process, an official evaluator is usually sent to your home to examine your living arrangements in person and talk with you about the provision of your child’s needs.
For most parents, this home assessment can be frightening. You must try to have an open mind and avoid being jittery during the practice. Ensure you supply character witnesses. Choose one or two people who can give witness about how involved you are with your child. These people should also be able to supply sketchy evidence of how good you are as a parent. The judge may directly speakwith each of the character witnesses. Alternatively, they will be allowed to submit their written affidavits.
Factors that can boost your chances of gaining custody
The court will consider a number of factors that impact each parent’s ability to get custody of a child.
A few of the most common factors are:
- The best interests of the child: Courts consider the best interest of a child when determining which parent should be granted the custody.
- Courtroom etiquette: Parents who desire to obtain the custody of a child ought to be properly dressed and have a calm behavior.
- Effective communication between parents: Parents who can talk about a child’s background or upbringing are favored by courts.
- Documentation: Parents who are seeking custody of a child must be prepared with all of the suitable documentation in addition to information about visitation and child support payments.
- Parental involvement: If you want to gain the custody of a child, you must be actively involved in your child’s life. You can then submit documents that show your level of involvement in court.