How to Win Child Custody
Tips for creating a superior parenting plan, and how it can help in negotiations with the other parent. Also covers the importance of tracking your agreement for court hearings.
To win child custody ultimately means that you are happy with your custody situation and the custody arrangements are in the best interest of your child. How this happens depends on your situation. It could mean that you get sole custody of your child, that you share joint custody with the other parent, that the judge accepts your parenting plan, etc.
So, how do you win custody? You work with the other parent or on your own to create a custody agreement that fulfills the needs of your child. Then, you work with the other parent or on your own to get the court to accept your plan.
To create a winning parenting plan to show in court, you can use Custody X Change.
Custody X Change is software that creates parenting plans and custody schedules.
Your parenting plan shows how you and the other parent will continue to care for your child now that you are separated.
A good parenting plan has:
- A parenting time schedule that shows when the child spends time with each parent
- Information about how the parents will make decisions for the child
- Information about finances and expenses
- Parenting provisions and rules about raising the child
- Any other information you want to include
To create a winning parenting plan, you must personalize it so it fits the needs of your child and fits your unique situation.
You can write out your plan on your own, work with the other parent to create it, and/or hire an attorney or legal professional to help you. You can also use Custody X Change to help you make your plan.
Creating your plan with Custody X Change allows you to:
- Make a parenting time schedule with holidays, vacation time, and special events
- Add important provisions and stipulations to your agreement
- Calculate your visitation timeshare calculation for your child support calculation
- Print documents including a calendar of the custody schedule, a written report of the schedule, a list of the provisions, and a detailed timeshare report
- Export all of the documents to Word, PDF, and Excel
- Export your custody calendar to your Blackberry, iPhone, Palm/PDA, Outlook, Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar, Windows Live, etc
The best way to win child custody is to work with your child's other parent to make a custody agreement both of you support. This helps you avoid a long, costly court battle and makes your agreement more successful.
Even if you and the other parent disagree about custody, it is still worthwhile to try and negotiate an agreement both of you like. In order to do this, you will both have to set aside personal feelings and focus on what is best for your child.
Here are some suggestions to help you when meeting with the other parent:
- Prepare example parenting plans and parenting time schedules to show your ideas
- Write down the concerns and issues that you want to discuss before you meet
- Be flexible about your parenting arrangements
- Listen to the other parent's ideas and concerns
- Try to set aside any personal conflicts with the other parent
- Think of your child as you work out your parenting agreement
- Don't discuss divorce issues or other outside issues during your meeting
- Bring information about your work schedule and your child's school schedule
- Talk to your child about what they want in the parenting agreement (if your child is old enough and mature enough)
- Seek mediation or counseling if necessary
- Get enough sleep the night before you meet
- Allow multiple meetings to come up with your plan (don't try to discuss too much in one meeting)
- Take a break if things get tense
Custody X Change can help you negotiate a fair custody plan with the other parent by:
- Easing the stress and tension when working with the other parent on your plan
- Making it easy to look at options for your parenting time schedule
- Allowing you to add personal custody provisions in your agreement
- Providing you with clear visuals of your parenting time and your entire plan
You may find it helpful to track your actual time so you know how to prepare your custody plan and to make sure the plan is followed.
To track your custody situation, you can track your actual parenting time so you know how your actual time compares to your scheduled time. This can help you make your custody and visitation schedule and know if the schedule is being followed.
You can also keep a custody journal where you write notes about what happens during your parenting time. You can use your journal to communicate with the other parent or just keep it for your personal record.
Tracking your parenting time and keeping a journal helps you win custody by making sure your plan is the right one for your child and you. It also helps both parents follow the plan.
Custody X Change has an actual-time tracking and journaling feature that allows you to:
- Enter in your actual parenting time and compare it to your scheduled parenting time
- Print a report that shows the difference between scheduled and actual parenting time
- Keep a custody journal and write notes about what happens during parenting time
- Print your parenting time journal
- Keep all of your tracking information in one place
- Use the documents from the software to modify your schedule in court or mediation
If you and your child's other parent are unable to come to an agreement about your custody arrangements, you must go to custody court and a judge will decide the arrangements.
To win in custody court, you must prepare a parenting plan and show the judge how that plan benefits your child. You may want to hire an attorney to create your plan and represent you in court.
You can represent yourself and still win custody, you just need to prepare a professional plan and present it well.
Whether you represent yourself or you have an attorney, you can use Custody X Change to get ready for custody court.
You can use Custody X Change to:
- Prepare an agreement with a complete custody schedule, parenting provisions, information about legal custody, and extra information for your case
- Show your attorney your ideas for parenting time schedules
- Organize your agreement so that you don't leave any important information out
- Save money in legal fees
- Show the court a visual calendar with each parent's time clearly marked
- Explain your parenting time schedule using a report that shows the breakdown of the timeshare percentage of each parent
- Give copies of your plan to the other parent and the judge while you present
If you and the other parent cannot work out a custody agreement, you should consider attending custody mediation.
In custody mediation, you and the other parent will meet with a neutral third party mediator who will help you create your custody agreement. The mediator will guide you as you make decisions for your plan and help you work out your disagreements.
Some states require that parents attend mediation before going to court. You may also have the option of getting free or discounted mediation through your court or state. If mediation isn't offered in your court, you can pay for mediation.
Mediation is successful for many people, and if you are able to make your plan in mediation you will be happy with your plan and win your custody case.
Custody X Change can help you prepare for mediation by:
- Creating sample parenting plans and schedules to show at the meeting
- Organizing your ideas and thoughts so you don't forget any important issues to discuss
- Letting you easily make suggested changes to your plan after mediation
- Printing documents of your plan to submit to court or to use with the court forms