If you find yourself trying to navigate the rough waters that surround child custody issues, you have undoubtedly experienced many different challenges and emotions. Child custody issues often become quite heated, but in the end there really is no winner and great care should be taken to handle these issues in a way that has the least negative impact on the children involved.
The child’s voice is often overlooked despite being the one impacted the greatest. All decisions should be made with the child’s best interest in mind, but ultimately, the court will take many of these decisions out of your hands and will always advocate for the best interest of the child.
A few steps that must be followed when making decisions regarding child custody. With that in mind, following are some must-follow tips regarding child custody:
- Pay support: Not only is this crucial to the well-being of the child, it also provides proof to the court that you are a responsible parent that is prepared to honor your financial obligation. If a legal order is not yet in place, be sure to keep accurate records of expenses incurred during this time.
- Document time spent with your kids: This may seem unnecessary, but remember the court does not know what your relationship with your children looks like. It is your job to advocate both for your child and for yourself if future time with your children is a priority. Keep a journal and take pictures of things you do with your kids.
- Stay involved or get involved: If you are the parent that regularly attends your kids school functions, extra-curricular activities, teacher conferences etc., don’t stop. If you aren’t currently doing these things, start now. Courts will need to see evidence that you know what is going on in your kid’s lives.
Finally, if you have not done so yet, consult a family law attorney. Understanding both your rights and obligations will go a long way in increasing peace of mind amidst a difficult situation.