Any divorce can be emotionally and financially draining, but the stakes are even higher when children are involved. Custody battles are often the most challenging and stressful aspect of divorce proceedings in Virginia, and you should have the assistance of an experienced family law attorney to protect your rights. Here, we share tips if you are fighting for custody of your children.
Tips on How to Win Custody of Your Children in a Virginia Divorce
You must convince the judge that it is in the best interests of your children to award you custody in your divorce. Here are tips on how to increase the likelihood that you will win your custody battle:
- Document everything. Documentation is critical in custody battles. Keep track of all interactions with your spouse, including emails, text messages, and phone calls. It is also essential to keep a record of any incidents involving your children, such as missed visitation or issues with school attendance. This information can be used to support your case in court.
- Be polite in court. During custody hearings, remaining calm and composed is crucial, even if your ex-spouse tries to provoke you. Avoid interrupting the judge or your spouse, and speak respectfully when addressing the court. Judges appreciate individuals who present themselves professionally and are more likely to favor someone who appears level-headed and respectful.
- Avoid unnecessary arguments. It is essential to avoid unnecessary arguments with your ex-spouse, especially when you are in the courtroom. When possible, compromise on issues with your spouse. If you take this approach, the judge will see you as the more mature and reasonable parent.
- Obey court orders. You must obey all court orders, even if you disagree with them. If you disobey them, the judge could sanction you, making it more difficult to win your custody fight.
- Don’t file frivolous motions. Do not file motions to get back at your spouse or those you know you cannot win. The judge will be irritated with you if you waste their time at unnecessary court hearings.
- Respect the Guardian ad Litem. The court could appoint a Guardian ad Litem to represent your child’s interests in your custody battle. They will recommend to the judge who should be granted custody. Be respectful of their role in your divorce and of them when you are communicating with them.
- Retain a lawyer. You should retain a skilled family divorce lawyer if you want to win custody of your children. They can collect the evidence you need to prove that you are the best parent to have custody of your children and can protect your rights in your divorce.