Custody Battle What to Expect: Get Prepared, Mom
You’re in a custody battle. What can you expect?
First, expect your custody battle will be a critical opportunity protect your legal rights as a parent.
Second, expect that it’s your attorney’s responsibility to familiarize you with custody laws and how they apply to your situation.
Third, in Pennsylvania, expect that the best interest of the child is the single most important consideration to remember. As you may have read in our blog, “What to Expect at Your Custody Trial” there are sixteen statutory factors that courts consider when determining child custody.
Custody Battle What to Expect: Know the 16 Statutory Factors Used to Determine Custody
The sixteen statutory factors, in laymen’s terms, include:
- Which parent is more likely to permit contact between your child and other parent?
- Has there been a history of abuse? Who best provides safeguards against it? Who will give your child the best supervision possible?
- Who has what parental duties? Are they being completed?
- Who will provide the greatest stability?
- How available is your extended family? How available is your ex’s extended family?
- What are your child's sibling relationships like?
- What is your child’s preference?
- Have there been attempts from you to turn your child against your ex? What about the other way around? Is this a domestic violence situation where your child needs protection from harm?
- Who will provide stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with your child?
- Who is more likely to attend to the daily needs of the child?
- How close are your residences?
- Who is available to care for the child or make child-care arrangements?
- How much conflict is involved?
- Do you or your ex have a history of drug or alcohol abuse? Does someone in your household? What about theirs?
- What’s your mental condition? What’s your mental state? What about the other parent’s? How about people in either party’s households?
- Any other relevant factor.
Moms, think about how the following information applies to you.
Custody Battle What to Expect: Moms, How Do You Stack Up in Encouraging Communication?
Moms, you’re wondering what to expect during your custody battle. Ask yourself, how are you encouraging and permitting frequent and continuing contact between your child and your ex?
This doesn’t mean using your kids as messengers to go between you and your ex. That’s not frequent and continued contact. It means keeping your ex updated on the children’s scheduling, remaining flexible when possible through calling, emailing, and texting. It means letting your children talk to their parent on the phone. It means not hiding your children in the closet and saying they’re not home when your ex arrives to pick them up. It means encouraging a relationship with the other parent.
Keep documentation. Expect to prove it.
It’s one way to begin to frame your expectations for what you can expect during a custody battle.
Custody Battle What To Expect: Why the Kids Are Better Off With Me
Think about all the safeguards you’ve put in place for your child to prevent harm. Ask yourself are you better qualified to put the best interest of your child in the forefront of your mind or is your ex better qualified to do so?
These questions will come up and you’ll be expected to answer.
Custody Battle What to Expect: Questions About Parental Duties
Then, look at your parental duties for your child. Ask yourself critical questions like who pays for the food? Who ensures the children are clothed? Who pays for the clothing? Who provides their housing? Who takes your children to the doctors? Who pays for their medical care? Who ensures your child goes to school? Who takes care of your child’s emotional needs? What about their physical ones?
Notice the questions aren’t:
- Who pays for the most expensive piece of clothing?
- Who gives the child unlimited soda, candy and junk food?
- Which parent is more fun?
Finally, expect to explain your stability, your extended family circumstances, and other relevant factors like employment.
Custody Battle What to Expect: From Attorneys at Hynum Law
Ultimately, at Hynum Law, you can expect experienced attorneys who will focus on your legal needs including divorce, child custody, support and more. You can expect a discounted 30-minute initial consultation with advice from attorneys and not paralegals. And you can expect that we'll make every effort to return your calls within 24 hours.