Deciding to end your marriage can be challenging enough, but the situation becomes increasingly complicated when children are involved. For most parents, their children are their main priority, and the thought of losing precious time with them can be unimaginable. Often both parents are unwilling to give up their rights to their children, which can lead to a bitter custody battle.
At Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa, we are prepared to stand by your side to fight for you and your children with their best interests at the forefront of our minds. In this blog, our lawyers outline key preparation tactics to ensure the best outcome in this less-than-ideal situation.
Do Your Research
Child custody laws can vary between states, so it is important to do your research to understand your state’s laws. Florida, for example, requires parents to attend a Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course within 45 days of opening a custody case. By hiring a lawyer, you can have someone in your corner to help you know and understand your state’s laws. They will also help with filling out the required forms needed in court proceedings.
Discuss a Plan
When both parents are seeking a portion of custody for the children involved, they will need to discuss a schedule and parenting plan that is in the best interest of their children. This shows the court that both parents want to be included in the child’s life and will also help provide a bright future for the children involved.
Complete Necessary Paperwork
Be sure to gather and complete the necessary paperwork that pertains to your case. If you are unsure of what that entails, seek guidance from your licensed attorney or call your county clerk’s office. Paperwork will vary depending on the location of your court hearing.
The type of evidence may differ depending on the type of custody hearing, whether it be legal or physical. Legal custody is focused on the important factors of a child’s upbringing, whereas physical custody refers to the types of custody agreements - primary, sole, or joint. Mainly, the court is looking for evidence that will show how much each parent cares for the child.
Here are multiple key types of evidence that can be helpful to you and your case:
- Photos of you and your child
- Witness testimony
- School and medical records
- Journal entries
- Expert opinions
Let Them Be Kids
Most importantly, keep your children out of serious discussions regarding the topic of custody. Odds are, their lives have already been turned upside down, and it is vastly important to leave them out of adult issues and decision-making. Keeping them uninvolved in custody disputes is a key factor to providing a small sense of normalcy and security.
If you are facing a child custody battle, don't go at it alone. Contact the Orshan, Spann & Fernandez-Mesa Family Law team today at (305) 853-9161 to discuss your options. With the right legal help, you can give yourself and your child the best outcome.