Going through a custody battle can be extremely stressful, often turning into a knock-down, drag-out fight. In order to fully assess the preparation needed to win your custody battle, we’ve got just the questionnaire to assist you. As you read through these questions, ask yourself if there can be any areas of improvement that can be made when it comes to your child custody case.
Question 1: Have You Filed A Petition for Custody?
This first question might seem like a no-brainer, but emotions can make you forgetful. Ensure that you have completed and turned in all required documentation needed to enlist you in this custody battle. If you are unsure what documents will be needed, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court website may help you with forms and instructions, for the State of Virginia, but beware: hiring an experienced Virginia attorney is your best bet.
Question 2: Do You Have a Record of Stable Finances?
When entering a custody battle, prepare to have everything inspected with a fine-tooth comb. You will be asked many questions and could be required to provide proof of anything asked of you. One main aspect that will be looked at in a custody battle are the finances of both parents. Men will typically earn higher wages than women. Consider this an advantage.
If your financial history is not as stable as you would like it to be, be ready to provide an explanation. You don’t have to have perfect finances to win custody of your children, but having a more stable financial history than the opposing party will increase the likelihood of winning this battle.
Question 3: Do You Have Reliable Witnesses?
After going over the initial information, regarding both parents’ history, it will be time for witnesses to be brought in. You must ensure that your witnesses meet the following criteria:
- Are they reliable to show up to the courtroom, when needed?
- Can they provide accurate testimonies?
- Do your witnesses hold a respectable place in society?
If you have answered “yes” to the above questions, you have a good source of witnesses. As always, witnesses that have been in the life of the family longer may come with more clout.
Question 4: Would the Child Have to Relocate with Another Party?
If the other parent plans on moving, this doesn’t always look good in the eyes of a judge. Moving can cause unnecessary stress on families, especially children. If you can keep your children from moving, use this to your advantage.
Question 5: Can You Present Evidence of Good Parenting?
Actual proof that you are involved in your child’s life goes a long way in custody battles. Whether it be pictures, videos, documents, or a combination of all of them: have everything ready to present. Testimonies from witnesses are great to have but you don’t want to leave any aspect of a custody battle to chance. It’s better to have too much evidence of good parenting than not enough, especially as a father.
Question 6: Have You Prepared Evidence Against the Other Party?
No one wants to actively find reasons that the other party shouldn’t have custody, but you don’t want to leave any aspect of a custody battle to chance. Set time aside and revisit any evidence that could damage the other party in the eyes of the judge. Previous run-ins with the law, times of financial hardship, or any documented trouble with the children are all things to take inventory of.
Question 7: Are You Prepared to Defend Yourself Against Evidence by the Other Party?
As you’ve worked to prepare dirt on the other side, you can bet that they will be doing the same thing to you. The best way to defend yourself is to not be caught off guard. You likely know the mistakes you’ve made in life and can do your best to get ahead of every one of them. Prepare to be grilled over every mistake you’ve made in your marriage.
Pro Tip: Hire a Custody Attorney for Fathers
Having a plan to prepare for a custody battle is extremely important. Preparation is key, gather as much evidence to show your stability as a parent. You will want to, at the same time, prepare evidence that shows the other party in a negative light, improving your chances of victory. No one is perfect but you should still have answers that show you plan on fixing any issues that are brought forth.
Contact our team of custody lawyers for fathers to schedule a consultation – simply give us a call at (757) 383-9184. It’s well known that men face a tougher time obtaining custody; choose a law firm that fights exclusively for men – The Firm for Men.