Custody Rights During a Divorce
While you may be going through a divorce and determining the final legal custody arrangement for your children, you may wonder what custody rights do you have during the divorce, and how can you best position yourself to have as much custody as possible of your children after the divorce. Courts always attempt to do what is in the “best interest of the child,” which typically includes granting custody to both parents. However, there are certain behaviors during the divorce process that you should take, and some you should avoid, to ensure that a court grants you as much custody as possible with your child.
The court’s primary goal in custody matters are to ensure that the decision is in the best interest of the child. Here are some ways to show the court that you are a strong, positive influence for your child and that you deserve as much custody as possible.
- You always ensure that the child’s needs are met: emotionally, physically, and financially.
- You have strong emotional, physical, and financial health.
- You reject any type of destructive habits including drinking alcohol to excess, taking illegal drugs, or smoking cigarettes.
- Your behavior on social media is appropriate and reflects a healthy lifestyle.
- You and your child share a strong, healthy emotional bond.
- You have a history and attitude of openness and willingness to encourage your child to visit with the other parent.
- You prioritize your child, and will ensure that only minimal change or disruption will occur during and after the divorce (examples: not moving, not forcing the child to change schools, etc.).
The court is looking for mature and healthy emotional attitudes from parents to ensure that their decision regarding custody is one that is truly in the best interest of the child. The more healthy and stable an environment is, the more likely a court will want to keep a child in that environment. Maintaining this stable environment throughout the divorce process only strengthens your case for custody.
Behaviors to Avoid
As expected, avoid any of the opposite behaviors of the above list. Some parents have lost custody rights due to their behavior. Make sure that during the divorce process you avoid these decisions and behaviors.
- Any drug or alcohol abuse
- Any inappropriate social media behavior
- Illustrating an inability to provide for your child emotionally or financially.
- Creating unnecessary adversarial conflicts with your spouse regarding the child.
One final note is that while you should always leave the marital home if you or your child is in danger or a victim of domestic abuse if you decide to move out under normal circumstances, it may be damaging to your case to obtain full or partial custody. Courts tend to want to leave a child in the marital home. There are obvious exceptions to this rule, and you should visit with an experienced divorce attorney before you leave your marital home during the divorce process.
Let Us Help You Today
If you are starting the divorce process, and are concerned about the amount of custody you may receive, contact the experienced Fort Lauderdale divorce attorneys at the offices of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. at 954-467-6656 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights as a parent.