If you are going through a divorce and there are children involved, you are probably concerned about keeping custody of your kids. To do this, you need to know how to prepare for a case. Here are some important steps that a Houston, TX custody attorney can help you with.
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Ask a Houston, TX Custody Attorney: How to Prepare Your Case
Call an Attorney
When you’re preparing for any kind of legal case, you need to make sure that you have a qualified attorney helping you out. You can represent yourself legally, and you might be tempted to save on costs by doing so.
But a child custody case isn’t the sort of thing you’ll want to be stingy about. Remember, your children’s future is on the line here. A lawyer will have all the training you need to make sure that your rights are respected throughout every step of the process, and that your case is taken seriously.
Create a Parenting Plan
When it comes to determining who’s going to get custody of the children involved in a divorce, judges care about what is going to be best for the children’s wellbeing. When preparing for your case, you’ll need to show how you’re going to care for the kids.
Coming up with a solid parenting plan will help you do this. You and your lawyer can work on this together to ensure that it is the most effective plan you can come up with. Your plan will help to show the judge that you are ready to offer your kids everything they need to thrive.
Prepare the Right Documents
In any legal case, it’s important to make sure that you have all the documents that you need and that everything is filled out correctly and on time. If you don’t do this, you could be putting your case at risk.
It can be hard to keep track of everything you need to file for your court case. That’s why making sure you hire a qualified Houston child custody lawyer is important. Your lawyer will handle all the paperwork for you and make sure that everything is filed on time.
Don’t Fight with Your Former Spouse
This might seem obvious, but you should try your best not to engage in any arguments with your ex. It can be difficult, especially if your ex keeps trying to start fights with you.
But arguing with your spouse can be extremely detrimental to your case, and since child custody is so important, avoiding conflicts like this is crucial. That said, it’s still important to do your best to communicate with your ex, as difficult as it can be. Keeping communications open shows the courts that you’re willing to do this for the well-being of the children.
Many people struggle with alcohol and drug abuse. If this is your situation, you might be tempted to lie about it or omit information because you think it will give you a better shot at keeping custody of your kids.
But lying is only ever going to make things worse. Always be honest, especially when it comes to drug and alcohol use. Instead of trying to lie or hide your struggles, prove to the judge that you’re willing to get help and change for your kids. Going to rehab or counseling will show that you are willing to put in the work your kids need.
Be Ready for the Court Specialist
The judge assigned to your case may have a specialist come and interview you to determine if you are a good fit to maintain custody of your children. It’s very important to be prepared for these visits.
Don’t take this to mean coaching your children, since this likely isn’t going to work and could put your case at risk. But it does mean being mindful about how you speak, especially about your ex. Don’t speak negatively about your former spouse, and remember to stay calm and focused on the kids.
Don’t Involve Your Children
Your court case might be about your children, but that doesn’t mean that they should be involved in it. A divorce is a high-stress time for kids, and taking them to court or speaking to them about court proceedings is only going to make things worse for them.
The judge assigned to your case also isn’t going to like seeing you bring your kids to court and putting them through such a stressful situation. If you want to make sure you have the best shot at maintaining custody, leave your kids out of the courtroom.
Going through a divorce is a difficult and stressful process, and it can be even more challenging when there are kids involved. If you want to maintain custody of your kids, hiring a qualified lawyer to represent and support you will help.