Divorces are hard enough, but they can be on a different level if children are involved. Things like custody and child support get in the mix of things. If you want to find out how you can get joint custody of your child/children after divorce, then read this guide. Hiring a child custody attorney also helps.
Get The Case Going
First and foremost, you need to file a case for joint custody so that you get things to roll quickly. You can apply for a child custody case, even if you’re married and considering separation from your partner or even after the divorce, but the main thing is that you don’t waste a single minute and get started on the case as soon as you can.
Good To Get A Lawyer
Another important thing to consider when applying for a child custody case, is to get an attorney. Sometimes, even if you’re well-educated in how legal things work, a lawyer can still help you out in the areas that you can’t seem to cover.
This is going to make your case stronger in court and the lawyer can also help with scheduling meetings and other things for you, behind the scenes.
Petition For The Case
Once the case is filed and you’ve requested joint custody of your child/children, it’s time to petition the case in court to make it a high priority.
This is something that a lot of people can forget, but you don’t want to make the same mistake because your case, if not petitioned, can get lost in the sea of other cases that the court is dealing with, and you’ll be wasting time and money over waiting around for your case to be executed in the court. This is why you need to take the initiative and file a petition for it.
Go To The Right Court
Surprisingly, a lot of people can make mistakes here as well. When you’re going for joint child custody, it’s better if you know what type of court you should go for. You want to go for a court that specializes and deals with domestic issues in marriages only. These courts are known as family or domestic relations courts and you will be surprised at how they deal with things.
You don’t want to go to an already overworked civil court for a custody case, because chances are that your complaint will get buried under hundreds and even thousands of other cases that need attention. So, always do your research as to which court you should refer to, for your case.
Get All The Paperwork Done
Once the case is opened and things are moving, you’ll need to get started with the paperwork too. You can get the important and required forms for child custody from the court and if you’re not sure as to how you should input information in the form, then your lawyer can help you out as well.
The important thing to remember here is that you need to state the truth when filling out the forms because if you’re being misleading, then judges will be able to sense that something is indeed fishy. Also, try to be relevant and remember all of the key things you put in the form at the time of the trial. This also shows legitimacy. So, make sure you provide correct details to your family lawyer Fairfax VA for the paperwork.
Review & Serve
Now that you got the paperwork out of the way, the next most crucial thing to do is to review all of the paperwork before handing it over to the lawyer.
Ensure that you’ve double-checked all of the dates and information written down and once everything is reviewed, the lawyer will process the papers in the court and a set of custody papers will be served to the other party. They have a turnaround time of 30 days before the trial is commenced, automatically.
Get Prepared For The Trial
Once the papers have been served and there has been a response from the other party, it’s time for the trial. The trial for child custody is similar to a divorce trial, but the main gist of it is to prove that the child is better off with both of the parents taking care of him/her.
You need to prepare all of the relevant evidence, witness statements, and other important things, so that you can tackle everything in court, with solid proof.
The Children’s Needs & Wants
The main purpose of the child custody trial is to ensure that both parents understand the needs and wants of their child. They should be willing to work together for the sake of their child and put differences aside. There are many things that you need to worry about for your child, as a parent.
Education, health care, leisure activities, lifestyle, and mental health impact are just some of the crucial things to emphasize, during a trial. You need to be able to convince the court that co-parenting is the best option for their child and that the environment that you both will provide, will be good for the child.
What Do You Need To Prove In Court?
With simultaneous divorce and child custody cases, there are a lot of things that can go wrong or there might be suspicions from the judge’s side about the well-being of the child, after granting joint custody. You both, as parents, need to be able to prove that:
- There was and is no history of abuse in the relationship.
- There is no volatile environment that could impact the mindset of the child, negatively.
- There isn’t any vice or ill will between the parents and they’re willing to let go of their vendettas for their child.
To prove above mentioned things, hearsay will not be enough for the judge to come to a decision. You’ll need to bring in witnesses who can vouch for you and your character. The main focus of the witnesses will be that both parents, when together, are not volatile and they are trying to make a good environment for the child.
Both partners can have witnesses from their sides and they can try to convince the judge that there is nothing wrong with joint child custody and it’s the best option that the parents can go for.
The Court’s Verdict
This marks the end of the trial and now it’s up to the judge to come up with a verdict. You’ve said and done everything that you could and now the best thing to do, is to hope for the best.
Usually, with good evidence and behavior especially if there is no history of abuse and neglect in the child’s life, the judge will come up with a decision that’s the best for the child as well as the parents, so you’ll just need to wait it out.
Joint custody battles are not hard to deal with if both of the parties are willing to cooperate for the sake of their child. Now you know exactly how to tackle the tricky parts of a joint custody battle. Book an appointment with a child custody lawyer Fairfax VA to get started.