27 September, 2009

How to prepare for your child custody case

Child Custody Battles - Getting Prepared

Today, it can no longer be assumed that the mother will get custody of the children. Instead, what judges consider during a custody trial is based on the "best interests of the child", and they try to give custody to the parent who will provide the best environment and upbringing for the children.

To win your child custody case, you will need to prove to the judge that it is in the best interest of the children to be with you. In preparing for a custody case, be aware that your parenting skills and daily interactions with your children will be thoroughly inspected by a judge. Just telling the judge that you are a good parent won't be enough. You need provide documentation and testimony from witnesses to back up your parental capabilities.

Keeping detailed, consistent records is critically important in child custody battles. You need to be prepared to show the judge that you have gone out of your way to nurture and care for your children. Because there is so much at stake, you also need to document any short-comings of your spouse that would be relevant to the custody case.

There are a number of ways that you can prove that you are a better parent. Below are some ideas:

  • Record activities with your children on a daily basis to help show that you are heavily involved in your children's life on a continuing basis.
  • Attend all school activities, such as parent-teacher meetings, assemblies, school plays, and musicals. Try to interact with your child's teacher and office support staff in an ongoing manner. Keep record of all the activities that you attend.
  • Be the parent who takes your child to the doctor and dentist. This will help support that you are a nurturing parent, plus provide witnesses that will testify that you are the parent who brought the children in most often.
  • Foster your child's involvement in church and family activities. This will help prove that you are providing for your child's moral upbringing.
  • Take your children on vacations and outings to show that you spend quality time with your children. If possible take pictures and keep mementos for extra documentation.
  • Get witness who have observed you interact with your child over a long period of time to support that you are a good parent. This includes relatives, teachers, doctors, child-care workers, neighbors, and friends.

While you need to emphasize that you are a good parent, you may also need to document the poor performance of your spouse with your children. Documentation on your spouse might include:

  • Evidence of an overwhelming work schedule that restricts interaction with the children,
  • Interference with custody, visitation times, or failure to pay temporary support for the children,
  • Incidences of domestic violence, such as police records, photos of bruises, etc,
  • DWI convictions, jail time, or proof of drug use,
  • Evidence of mental illness,
  • Activities that might endanger or could be detrimental to the child,
  • Any comments the children have made about neglectful, inappropriate, alienating or abusive forms of parenting by the other parent,
  • Cohabitating or exposing the children to over-night stays with a significant other.

As you can see, keeping detailed, consistent records is critically important in child custody battles. It allows you to pinpoint patterns of interactions or problems that would be important to the judge.

©Tracy Achen 2005
At WomansDivorce.com we have one focus - helping women survive divorce and rebuild their lives.

If you are facing a custody trial, you might consider using custody tracking software (such as the Custody Toolbox) to help your case. Custody software makes it easy to keep track of all the documentation relevant to your case and organize it into an easy to follow format.

For more information concerning child custody, and how divorce affects children, check out the following articles:
Recording Cell Phone Voice Messages
Preparing for Your Custody Evaluation
Custody Assessment Issues
How To Win Custody
Using A Parenting Coordinator
Custody Fight - Keep It Out Of Court
More Articles about Children


  1. Call Me Sara, this is about a man who is a member of your Peace4Missing that you should be extremely concerned about, especially since you, yourself have kids. The fact that you have put him in a position of possibly obtaining information to stalk other people's children is extremely troublesome and I would hope that for anyone who has children on your website, you as the co-founder would want to know about a stalker. You have my number, I will be speaking to the police tomorrow. I would hope your concern for children truely shows by placing the call to me.

  2. I've already called and left 2 messages with my phone number. If you're sincerely concerned about people's children, I would hope that you'd be concerned as to whom you have on the very website designed to find and protect children of all ages, as well as other victims. Again, I'm waiting for a phone call from you. Gave you my cell#, which by the way is not to be made public and or given to your members to abuse my family anymore. I have facts Sara, and I would hope your concern for children is real and not just an online obsession to get attention. To be told of stalking by someone of your Peace4Missing website, I would have thought you'd be the first to want to know so as everyone's children on your website is safe as well as yours. If you're not concerned with this, maybe your husband would be. The man stalking my son with pornographic content should be of concern to all.

  3. Why are you playing games? If someone is evil on the site then contact Sara or any of the administrators through Peace4 and let them know what is going on. We have plenty of PIs and Law Enforcement as members and many more that read on the site including politicians. We have the tools to look into whatever you are talking about. You at the moment are appearing to be the stalker by supposedly calling Sara and playing these mind games. Come clean or leave her alone. Those are your two choices, period.

  4. Playing games? You've got to be kidding. I've directly contacted Sara by phone...twice. She has my number, she has my name but fails to call. Who's playing games? As far as going to Peace4Missing, obviously it's not exactly the safest site to go right now. Would you like me to further jeopardize my children by going there or do what I did....contact Sara directly by phone...no response and then getting her attention here so she might respond? If it were your children, you'd do anything to get the attention of someone who has the power to stop your children from being stalked by one of their members, of which they are extremely close to. The lack of concern by someone who professes (online at least) children's safety is alarming.

  5. How did you get Sara's phone number?

  6. deskside, Sara and I communicated quite a bit last year. She knows who I am. I am not a threat but a mother that has been a victim of stalking by one of her members. My young son as been as well. I only recently found out. But as of a month ago (before I knew of this member sending messages to my son), I had to contact police about threats concerning my 5 and 9 year old children and yes, the police are looking into it. Since then, I've found out that a member was sending pornographic content to my son informing him that his mother "me" was on pornographic sex sites and more. All of which is absolute lie. There is quite alot more of which I will not go into but would hope that Sara would like to know the details to ensure the safety of her members and their children and not suffer the same fate as my family has. It's amazing how easy it is to blog, post, go on numerous forums but when you get a real call about a child that is being harrassed and stalked....nothing. I will not post anymore unless I hear from Sara and then my next post after that will state that I was wrong, that she really does care about children. I would be extremely happy to post that. Until then, I await a call from her. My hopes are that she acts as a co-founder of that site and wants to be informed further. I've come clean, now I want to know if Peace4Missing is clean, or if they give our personal information that leads to very wrong conclusions and very serious results of harrassment.

  7. I have no idea who you are, nor what your phone number is, why don't you email it to me.

  8. And why in the world would you be calling me instead of the police? Please, make a wise parental choice and contact law enforcement concerning your children's safety and well being.