Having a family of your own may have always been a dream for you. When you got married, you may have felt as if you had finally started making significant headway toward reaching that dream, and when you had your first child, you undoubtedly felt overjoyed.
As the years went on, however, your ideas of family may have changed as you realized that your marital relationship was heading down a rocky path. In the end, you decided that divorce was the right choice, but that does not mean that you want to sever ties with your children.
Your kids will always be an important part of your life. As a result, you want the child custody proceedings involved with your divorce case to go as smoothly as possible and to allow you to have as much time with your kids as possible. How can you help ensure that happens?
Tips for handling custody proceedings
Child custody can be one of the more complex aspects of divorce because there are numerous factors involved. The court will have your children’s best interests in mind when determining what type of arrangement would be best, and you may need to show that your children will benefit from having you in their lives.
Some ways that you can present your best self to the court include the following:
- Take your parental rights seriously. Too many parents assume that court will give them custody because they are a biological parent. But if a parent does not exercise his or her parental rights (particularly by not spending time with the kids), the court will not look favorably on that detail.
- Show that you are willing to work with your ex. If you seem adamant about not wanting your kids to be around the other parent and not wanting to work with him or her under any circumstances, that may come across as negative to the court, especially if there is no valid reason for keeping the children from the other parent.
- Dispel any negative assumptions the court may have about you or that the other parent is trying to convey to the court. Unfortunately, falsehoods could be presented in court, and it is up to you to show that they are not true, such as by being reliable, maintaining a respectful appearance and attitude during court, and requesting in-home custody evaluations to show how you really live.
It may seem like an unnecessary amount of work, but if you hope to maintain custody of your children, this work may be necessary, especially if you want to show a North Carolina court that you are a fit parent.