Divorce may be necessary, but it can also bring up custody issues. You talked to your divorce attorney about your decision, and now you are wondering how to improve your chances of getting custody of your children. The following tips should help you understand what the court may consider and the factors you need to pay attention to.
Your Children's Age
You really cannot do much about your child's age, but a judge will take it into account. One of the things that a judge will pay attention to is if a child is still nursing, which will favor the woman, unless there are special factors that affect nursing, like the following:
- A nursing parent cannot nurse due to medications or a specific ailment.
- There is a history of drug abuse.
- Parents are the same sex.
The judge will look favorably towards the parent that looks out for his or her children's best interest. So if you have a infant, consider letting the nursing parent having your child most of the time for the good of his or her health.
Consider Your Living Situation
The judge--as well as several experts--know that it is preferable that your children's life does not change much after the separation. The judge may show favor toward the parent that keeps the family's home. You can try to do your best to ensure that you get the family's house, although the judge may just grant the house to the parent that wins custody for the same reason.
You should also anticipate the possibility that you won't get the family's home, so you should try to start making arrangements for your new home. The following will be considered by the judge:
- Does your home accommodate your children properly? Does it have enough rooms for each child?
- Is it in a similar neighborhood?
- You should do your best to get a home that is near your children's neighborhood or school.
Most judges want the children to be as unaffected as possible by your separation; it is the parents who are getting divorced and not the children. You want to stay away from doing any of the following, as it may cost you custody or visitation rights:
- Badmouthing your ex-partner in front of your children
- Purposely scheduling your children's time with your ex-partner's time
- Interfering or making your ex-partners visitation difficult
- Coaching your children against the other parent
You can talk to your divorce lawyer about other things that might affect the judge's decision regarding custody of your children, as there may be specific circumstance that are special for your family.