3 Questions to Ask When Taking a Child Custody Case to Court
When it comes to child custody cases, parents need to understand precisely what they are dealing with. These are often the messiest cases in the family law court system. While divorce issues can be resolved without incident in many cases, parents will often fight for their rights to child custody. With this in mind, if you are planning to take a child custody case to court, there are some questions you need to be willing to ask. These questions will help guide you so that you can make the right decisions on some difficult issues. Here are three questions to get you started.
What’s in the best interest of my child?
When you go to court, the judge there will often have a single question in mind that will help to dictate all decisions. What is in the best interests of the child in question? While parents will make many arguments about why some custody arrangement is best for them, the judge is looking at more than that. He or she will look out for the child. This is especially true in cases where there is a guardian ad litem in place to ensure that the child’s interests are considered.
Often, what is in the best interests of the child is a good compromise between the parents. In some cases, where one of the parents is unfit to care for the child, the best interests will demand that a child goes with a single parent. Every situation is different, so as you consult with your lawyer, you should ask what is in the best interests of your child. Taking an honest look at this question will give you a good sense of what the judge in your case is going to be thinking about.
Is this fight worth the expense?
Parenting can be difficult and expensive. It is best to have as many financial resources as possible so that you can give your child the best possible life. As you take your child custody case to court, you need to ask yourself whether the fight is going to be worth the financial toll that it can take on your family. Some protracted legal battles can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Many parents find that their money is much better spent elsewhere. Ask yourself whether there is something you can do with the money that might help your child’s development.
Can a settlement agreement be reached before a judge has to make the decision?
Throughout the course of your child custody case, you will have an opportunity to reach a settlement. Just because you have gone to court does not mean that you have given up the chance to reach a compromise. In fact, going to court provides a good incentive for the parties to finally work together. You must ask yourself whether it is possible to reach a settlement that will prevent the difficulty that is sure to follow in your case.
Is your former partner a reasonable person? Would they accept partial custody? Could this be something that allows you to focus and move on with the situation? Asking yourself these questions can help you better deal with the process and move on in a way that makes sense for you and your child both.
At the end of the day, child custody battles are often difficult. You don’t have to be perfect in these situations, but you should be sensible in your mindset and preparation. Asking yourself some of the hard questions will help you come to a resolution that may work out for all parties involved. You may be able to find a way to get what you want without having to spend a ton of money and waste time with an awful custody fight.