You didn’t expect your divorce to be amicable, but you never expected your spouse to demand full custody of your children.
Yet here you are: Your spouse has steadfastly refused to negotiate a fair custody agreement and parenting plan and has accused you of being an uninvolved, inept parent who doesn’t deserve shared custody of the kids.
How do you counter that narrative?
Make a plan and get your documentation in order
While there’s often a “he said-she said” element to every custody battle, good documentation can be your best ally in court. With that in mind:
- Keep track of your “off” time with your children. Do you coach your daughter’s soccer team? Do you faithfully attend your son’s concerts? Make sure you note what you do with each child, even if that’s merely sitting in the stands in support while they’re marching in the school’s band.
- Make yourself visible to coaches and teachers. This is not the time to be a wallflower. Make sure that these people and other important figures in your children’s lives are aware of your presence at various events.
- Get more invested in your children’s lives. Do you know the names of your daughter’s best friends? Do you know which houses your son visits to play video games? Do you have insight into their favorite hobbies and the goals they have in life?
- Keep a record of conversations. If you’re currently forced to communicate most often with your children via electronic means, keep a record of every phone call, video call or text message.
What does all this do? It helps show the court that you are deeply involved in your child’s life — and that can make your co-parent’s fictions unravel.
Obviously, there’s a lot riding on your custody battle, so don’t try to handle it alone. With legal guidance, you may be able to tilt the odds of a successful outcome in your favor.