Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Do you consider yourself the better parent?

You will undoubtedly face many struggles as you go through your divorce. Because your rocky relationship with your soon-to-be ex likely led to the decision to end the marriage in the first place, you probably expect that the decision-making process for any aspect of the divorce will prove difficult. However, you have one area that you feel particularly strongly about when it comes to achieving your desired outcome, and that area is child custody.

You keep your children at the forefront of your mind at all times, and you feel that their other parent does not have what it takes to care for the kids as well as you could. As a result, you hope to achieve sole custody. Because of your inability to come to terms with the other parent outside of court, litigation may be necessary. Therefore, you may need to prepare for custody hearings.

The better parent

When vying for sole custody, you are essentially telling the court that you believe yourself to be the better parent. However, the court will not simply take you at your word on that belief. You will need to present evidence that you are the better parent and that it would be in your children's best interests for you to obtain sole custody. It can prove difficult to reach this desired outcome as courts often view joint custody as the better option.

Positively presenting your case

When attempting to argue why you are the better parent, it may help your case to refrain from bashing the other parent. Rather than providing a laundry list of the other parent's faults in order to make yourself look better, you may instead want to provide evidence of how you better support the physical and psychological well-being of your children.

When it comes to physical well-being, your extensive knowledge of the kids' daily routines, sleeping schedules, eating habits, after-school activities, other hobbies and friends could help you prove that you could ensure that your children's physical needs remain met after the divorce. In the case of psychological well-being, you may want to indicate that you support a visitation schedule that allows the other parent to see the children often. This information could show the court that you understand the importance of parental relationships.

Accepting alternative arrangements

Of course, even if you do present your evidence as to why you are the better parent, the court may still not consider sole custody the best arrangement. As a result, you may need to determine the best ways in which joint custody could work for your family. In order to understand your legal options for working toward the custody outcomes you desire and how to make court orders work as best as possible, you may want to gain reliable information from local legal resources.

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