5 Tips for Getting “Full Custody”
While everyone hopes their marriage will endure the hardships that come along with any relationship, you may reach a point at which you will have to consult a divorce attorney in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, FL. Even if the divorce is as amicable as possible, you’ll still need a divorce lawyer near you to help you create a parenting plan for the custody of your children. In most cases, that means filing to establish parental responsibility and timesharing in family court within your divorce case. If you find yourself in that situation, you can help yourself by learning more about what it takes to win a “custody” family lawsuit.
- Focus on Your Own Parenting Quality
As any good divorce attorney in Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, FL will tell you, criticizing your soon to be ex-spouse in the courtroom will not work in your favor. The judge already knows that you and your spouse don’t get along. Instead, focus on showing the judge why you are the better parent. Try to show the court how you will provide a safe and nurturing environment for your children. Since the court’s goal is to keep both parents involved whenever possible, you should also express an intention to share parenting and timesharing opportunities with the other parent, as well has to foster an ongoing positive relationship between your kids and your spouse.
- Exhibit Your Ability to Handle a Parenting Schedule
You should get together with a Sarasota divorce attorney like Matthew Z. Martell in advance to discuss your ability to fulfill your role as a parent during the divorce. For example, while the court is reluctant to grant “full custody” to an intentionally unemployed father who is just trying to get out of child support, they’re equally reluctant to grant “full custody” to a workaholic parent who works 80 hours per week. You and your Sarasota divorce lawyer should be able to show that you will have the time to devote to your child’s upbringing, including spending a significant amount of quality time with your child.
- Provide Proof of Your Parenting Abilities
You should also be able to help your Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, or Venice, Florida divorce attorney go into detail about how you’ll function as a parent during the divorce as well as post-divorce. For example, show you will be able to afford to meet your child’s financial needs without having to take on extra work. That may mean downsizing to a smaller apartment or cutting unnecessary grooming, travel, entertainment, and discretionary personal expenses. Additionally, for example, if you need to move within a different school district, or if you need to buy a car to get your child to school, daycare, doctor’s appointments, sports, extracurricular activities, etc., then you should also be able to show to show the Court how you’ll meet those needs on your own.
- There Will Be a Time to Discuss the Other Parent’s Behavior
Your Sarasota divorce lawyer will be able to present evidence of your ex-spouse’s behavior as a way of establishing his/her behavior and character. This is something that the judge will take into account when determining how your custody dispute will be settled. To that end, you should collect documentation that proves when your ex is late for timesharing, or just doesn’t show up for visitation and/or important parental responsibilities meetings such as doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher meetings, important extra-curricular events, important sports functions, etc. Additionally, if your soon to be ex-spouse is abusive, suffers from addiction, or exhibits a violent temper, collecting video or photographic evidence of these instances can work in your favor in the courtroom.
- Hire a Family Law Attorney
Finally, you should never try to pursue sole parental responsibility (i.e.- “full custody”) without highly skilled family law legal representation. It is almost certain that your spouse will hire an attorney of his/her own if you seek sole parental responsibility. Therefore, showing up in family court without a lawyer can put you at a severe disadvantage. An experienced and highly rated family law attorney such as Matthew Z. Martell will know how to present a strong case in court, and he will know also how to weaken your ex-partner’s case at that court hearing.
If you truly need to pursue full custody, or just want to try to change the parental responsibility and timesharing terms of an existing Parenting Plan and Marital Settlement Agreement, then you should begin by consulting one of the best Sarasota, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, and Venice, Florida family law attorney near you that you can find. The Law Offices of Matthew Z. Martell, P.A. has the experience needed to increase your chances for a favorable outcome in your custody case. How child custody is determined will have a significant effect on the future upbringing of your child, so relying on an experienced, highly reviewed, and dedicated family law attorney is essential. Contact Sarasota divorce Attorney Matthew Z. Martell at (941) 556-7020 today to schedule your 30-minute free initial phone consultation for information, advice, and help.