If you’re unsatisfied with the custody plan for your children, you may be wondering how to win a custody modification case. In many cases, your or your children’s situation has changed since the custody plan was set in place. A custody modification may be in your children’s best interests.
However, before you go into court, you need a good idea of how to win a custody modification case. Judges don’t make these decisions lightly, and the burden of proof will be on you. Keep reading to find out how a non-custodial parent can get custody.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Win a Custody Modification Case?
- 2 Show Responsibility and Engagement
- 3 Create a Safe Home Life for Your Children
- 4 Manifest Good Overall Character
- 5 Documents That Can Help You Win a Custody Modification Case
- 6 Succeed in Negotiations or Mediations
- 7 Present a Winning Case in Court
- 8 Conclusion
How to Win a Custody Modification Case?
If you’re looking to get a parenting plan modification, it’s important to note that the judge will consider the children’s welfare above all else. But what is a parenting plan modification, exactly? It refers to a change in children’s custody agreement that the parent or parents propose to the court.
What do judges look at when deciding custody? They want to know how modification of custody will affect the kids in all aspects of their lives. Will it be beneficial for them psychologically and emotionally? How will it affect their school and extracurricular schedules?
The court also looks into the character and fitness of the parent. If you’re bringing forth the modification case, you want to make sure your character is spotless.
You may wonder how hard it is to modify child custody? It can be challenging, but you’ll be off to a good start if you follow these tips.
Show Responsibility and Engagement
One of the most important things you can do is show the court that you are a responsible parent who’s actively involved in their children’s lives.
Spend as Much Time as Possible With Your Children
While you may feel like you aren’t getting enough time with your children, it’s essential to make sure that you’re spending the time you do get with them. You want to show the court that you take every opportunity you get to be with them.
If you’re supposed to be somewhere, make sure you’re there. Be on time to pick up your kids, and don’t miss any of your appointed times with them.
It also helps if you can make yourself available if something comes up, such as if your ex can’t pick the kids up from school.
If things change, be flexible. For example, if your kids’ schedule is altered, such as having an additional sports practice, make sure you arrange your schedule around them. You want to show the court that you’re putting your kids first.
Keep a Clean History
You may have some unsavory things in your past, but you need to show that you’re making an effort to be better. Keep a spotless record to show that your kids are safe with you. Even something simple like a speeding ticket can reflect poorly on you.
Keep Detailed Notes
Keep a journal of all the times you spend with your kids. Write down when you see them, for how long, and what you do together. Keep records about child support and anything else regarding your kids.
Create a Safe Home Life for Your Children
How do I prove I am a better parent in court? The court will want to see that your kids will be safe and comfortable at your home.
Vet Your Inner Circle
If you have friends or family members that the court may consider unsafe for your children, be sure to distance yourself for the time being. You want to make sure these people aren’t around when you have your kids.
Keep Your Home Safe
A safe home will depend on your kids’ ages. If your kids are younger, make sure everything is childproof. For older kids, be sure to keep substances like alcohol locked away.
Keep Your Home Clean
A clean home is essential. While you don’t have to keep your house looking like something that came out of a magazine, it should be sanitary for your kids.
Avoid Inappropriate Gatherings
If your kids are coming over, it’s probably best not to have a party. Don’t let random people stay with you, and don’t leave your kids with others for long periods.
Maintain Sexual Appropriateness
Obviously, you have the best of intentions, but be sure there’s nothing that can be misconstrued as sexual inappropriateness between you and your children.
No Inappropriate Outings
When you have your kids, be sure to take them to family-friendly places. Don’t go to a bar or an R-rated movie with them.
Have Appropriate Babysitters
If you have to leave your children with a sitter, get someone who’s vetted through an agency. If you get a family member, don’t get anyone who wouldn’t pass a background check.
Absolutely No Corporal Punishment
Even if you spanked your children in the past, corporal punishment could get you in a lot of trouble. Scientists have proven that it’s damaging and ineffective, and a court will frown on it.
Manifest Good Overall Character
How do I prove I am a better parent in court? You need to show a court that you are an excellent example for your kids and that you have their best interests at heart.
Get to Know the Adults in Your Children’s Lives
Show the court you’re involved by getting to know other adults in your kids’ lives. Attend teacher meetings and get to know their coaches.
Do Not Fight in Public With Your Ex
Even if your ex infuriates you, it’s bad form to argue with them in public. Keep your cool. If you act like the bigger person, the judge will notice.
Do Not Disparage Your Ex
It’s harmful to your kids if you talk badly about your ex in front of them. Remember that your ex is still your kids’ other parent, and they love them.
Documents That Can Help You Win a Custody Modification Case
How do you win a child modification case? You’ll need documentation of everything before appearing in court. Keep everything organized and complete.
Written Submissions to the Court
You’ll need to learn how to file a modification of parenting plan first, and file your submission. It should detail your position and why you think custody should be modified.
Phone Call Logs
Phone call logs can show how often you’ve kept in touch with your kids. The court will see that you’re making every effort to be in their lives.
Your journal of all the times you visited your child can help to show the court that you’re consistent. It can also be relevant if your ex has kept you from seeing your kids at your appointed times.
Your Child’s Records
Your child’s records may be important. For example, you may have records to prove that your child is doing well in school when with you or hospital records to demonstrate that your child has been hurt with your ex.
Court Orders of Contempt
Certain findings of contempt can be a basis for changing your child’s residential schedule. Sticking strictly to the parenting plan is important; if the other parent is not following the plan it is a valid strategy to litigate violations to build the groundwork to show the court who is following the current plan and who is not. If the other parent is not following the plan consistently, the court will allow a change in the parenting plan.
Succeed in Negotiations or Mediations
In most cases, you won’t get sole custody unless your kids are in danger with your ex. It’s in your children’s best interests if you and your ex can come to a compromise together.
Present a Winning Case in Court
If you want to know how to win a custody modification case, you must present a winning court case. Be able to show evidence of why your kids should be with you more and lay out a plan for how you’ll manage more time with them.
If you want to know how to win a custody modification case, you should consider the items mentioned in this article. These are already quite a few items to occupy your mind with — child support lawyer cost shouldn’t be another source of concern. Call a child support lawyer at Skyview Law today for an affordable and trustworthy consultation.