How Can I Fight a Contentious Child Custody Battle in San Bernardino?
Chances are, if you are in the middle of a contentious child custody battle, your divorce has been equally as combative up to this point.
Unfortunately, when we are talking about your children, the fear of the unknown can be overwhelming. While each parent believes they have the most to offer and are both working hard to prove that in court, there are tips you can follow to minimize the inherently combative nature of determining who gets custody of your children.
At the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb, our San Bernardino child custody law attorney understands how much your children mean to you and that you only want what is best for them going forward. With our experience and leadership by your side, you can face the other parent inside and outside the courtroom with confidence, so you can focus on being the best parent you can be during this difficult time.
What Factors Will the California Family Courts Consider When Weighing Custody Decisions?
The common refrain heard throughout the child custody court system is that everyone is focusing on your children’s best interests. While that seems like an obvious approach to determining who should get physical custody, it requires an in-depth look at both parents’ lifestyles.
California Laws specify the health, safety, and welfare of children must be the court’s primary concern when determining legal and physical custody.
Beyond those factors, the court will gather information regarding the children’s physical and emotional ties to their school and community to fluidly incorporate their existing activities into their newly separate parenting spaces.
Finally, the court will inquire about any history of family abuse or neglect.
If custody becomes a battle, and it is impossible to create a parenting plan or settlement that both parents can agree on, the family law judge will be left to make the final decision.
The courts understand that parents can easily find criticism in just about everything the other parent does. So, when the judge is charged with determining who gets custody of the children, he or she will likely not focus on the details the parents have been arguing over to date.
The judge will revert to the previously listed main factors when making a final determination.
What Can I Do to Help My California Child Custody Case?
Heated divorces often lead to contentious child custody cases, which can cause an immediate problem between you and the judge.
If you are blatantly demonstrating an unwillingness to collaborate with the other parent, it will be obvious when you appear in front of the judge and can harm your ability to achieve the desired outcome.
The State of California would like to see both parents involved in their children’s lives going forward and want to see that you are willing to work with one another to place the children’s needs before your own.
Next, do not refuse any of the court’s request, including working with the other parent to create an initial parenting plan that you can build from as the case moves forward. Sometimes, the courts require mandatory counseling classes, which should be attended in full. The better you can demonstrate how far you are willing to go for your kids, the better your position.
Subsequently, document everything.
The best strategy for winning your custody case begins with documenting the other parent’s activities, parenting skills, and daily interactions with the children.
That can include:
- Evidence tied to an overwhelming work schedule that interferes with their time with the children
- Interference with custody, visitation times, or failure to pay temporary child support
- Emails, text messages, or social media posts that incriminate the other parent and their behavior
- Incidences of domestic violence, which can include police records, and photos of injuries or property damage
- DUI convictions or proof of drug use
- Evidence of mental illness
- Activities that could be detrimental to or may endanger the child
- Any comments the children have made about inappropriate, neglectful, or abusive forms of parenting
- Cohabitating or exposing the children to overnight stays with a significant other
Pinpointing troubling patterns could be instrumental to your success, and keeping consistent records is critically important to how that information is presented and reviewed by the court.
Keep in mind, if you are documenting the other parent’s behavior, he or she is almost certainly doing the same. Be mindful of how you communicate and avoid emotional outbursts when discussing the children.
Finally, do not speak ill of the other parent in front of the children, or involve them in the court case. The kids have enough going on with adapting to the divorce. Support their ongoing needs, and talk to a friend, family, member, attorney, or therapist when you need to discuss the divorce or custody case.
Partner with Our Experienced Child Custody Attorney in San Bernardino
If you are considering a divorce, or have already started the process and foresee a contentious child custody battle ahead, contact our experienced San Bernardino family law attorney at the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb by calling (909) 889-7111 to schedule a free consultation today. Do not allow the other parent to bully you, threaten you, or intimidate you regarding how your children will spend their time. We can help you prepare a unique strategy that focuses on the children’s best interests, so you can solidify your parenting status with confidence.