When child custody gets ugly, it can feel as though your ex wants to cut off a piece of your arm. You can’t give up the fight. Children won’t understand if you lose custody and can’t provide guidance and support when they need it. Arm yourself with a good family lawyer and fight. Here is how to protect your parental rights working with a family law lawyer in Richmond TX.
1. Keep Your Nose Clean
You have to do your best to stay out of trouble. However, that can be difficult during a divorce. You may make a poor decision to drink a bit too much and get behind the wheel of a car or get in a fight. The judge will not favor a parent who gets in trouble for criminal behavior, even during this stressful time. Avoid trouble and make responsible decisions to prove that you can be a responsible parent. Even legal behavior can be used against you. Don’t showcase a lot of partying or irresponsible behavior on social media, whether it is legal or not.
2. Take The High Road
You may harbor hate in your heart toward your ex, especially if they attempt to limit your contact with your children. This can make you want to say mean things to them or about them. However, the mean things you say will only make you look bad. Do your best to speak well about your ex or say nothing. Even if they attack you, you need to take the high road. Speak in a calm tone and move forward legally. Avoid venting on social media or confiding in people about your personal problems until things are settled. You should also take extra precautions to avoid fighting or speaking poorly in front of the kids. No matter what happened between you and your ex, that is their parent. They don’t deserve to listen to a character assassination whenever you two disagree.
3. Be Honest With Your Lawyer
Your family law lawyer needs to know the truth about everything to give you the best advice. If you made a mistake, you need to admit your mistake to your attorney. If you do not, the lawyer may get blindsided during court, unable to provide a proper defense off the cuff. Think about the negative things your ex can bring up against you well in advance. You and your attorney can work together to prepare a defense for every possible situation and work to perform damage control.
4. Take Advantage of Rights You Currently Have
You have certain rights when it comes to spending time with your kids, even if it’s not quite what you want or deserve. You need to make the most of these rights. If you have visitation, go to every visitation opportunity. If you have custody on weekends, pick the kids up every weekend. You shouldn’t drop the kids at your mother’s, either. Make a point to spend the time with them yourself. If you don’t take advantage of the time you do have with your children, it can discourage the judge from giving you more time.
5. Save Money
Divorces cost a lot of money. You will need to work hard to earn enough and save enough to pay for the divorce. If you skimp on a budget lawyer, you will end up paying with more valuable commodities, such as time with your kids. Put your head down and work extra hours. If you can’t work extra hours, look for a better-paying job. You can also find a legitimate side hustle to pad your wallet. You also should put recreational spending on hold. You don’t want to go on an extravagant vacation or buy a brand new sports car at the moment.
6. Document Everything
The court needs proof of your testimony, so you need to document absolutely everything that applies to the case, especially finances.
If you make payments to your ex, always create a paper trail. You should also keep organized documents for every payment. It doesn’t stop there, though—document when you buy things for the children as well as expenses related to your divorce.
You also want to document any attempts to better yourself. For example, document therapy sessions you go to or any steps you take to resolve anger or addiction problems.
7. Keep New Relationship Out of It
If you find someone new before completing your child custody agreement, you will do yourself a favor to keep your new beau out of the entire conversation. Do not introduce your new flame to the children yet. You also probably don’t want to flaunt things on social media quite yet. You can still enjoy time together, but you should approach the situation delicately. If the subject of a new lover does come up, you want to have proof that you did not let it affect your relationship with your children in any way.
8. Pick the Right Lawyer
Your divorce lawyer can play a large role in your new life. You need to pick a lawyer that will get you the best results while also keeping the best interest of the kids in mind.
When looking for a divorce lawyer, look for someone with years of experience dealing with family law issues in the area. You want someone with a good reputation and a good track record of success. Finally, you need to pick a lawyer with whom you connect. You need to be on the same page throughout the proceedings.
Call Covington Law Firm to schedule a consultation with Vonda today.