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What To Consider Before Filing For Child Custody



Saved as : Child Custody

Filing for child custody is something which ever increasing numbers of people are having to do, because there are more divorces than ever in an increasing population, and more cases where the fate of the children needs to be decided by a court. The court system has its own agenda for deciding on child custody and support issues, and has created what is in effect a giant industry around it. Both state and federal governments play a significant role in a system which is desperate need of reform, but which parents need to be able to cope with for the foreseeable future.

The child custody issues need to be addressed as near as possible to the time of the marital break up, because the education and welfare of the child may be diminished by any long drawn out court battle. The chances are that the child may already be suffering due to the breakdown of the marriage and from months and possibly years of watching parents fight and quarrel. The divorce is usually less of an ordeal than it used to be, as they can be obtained far more easily and quickly, but the children will definitely benefit from a quick resolution to the problems.

If you are going to be filing for custody soon after the divorce you will need to be able to present yourself in the best possible light, so start now to find as much evidence as you can of times where you have been a positive influence in the child’s life. Custody should be awarded on the basis of what is best for the child, but there are always other factors which are clandestinely considered. The system typically awards custody to mothers and financial obligations to fathers, but this is due to factors which have nothing to do with the welfare of any child.

If you are considering filing for child custody on the basis of being the natural parent it will be a good idea to get this proven in advance. This was never possible in previous eras, and all that could be done was an educated guess based on appearance as to who the real father may have been. Now, there is accurate DNA testing which will virtually always reveal exactly who the real parents are. Being the biological father does not give you any guarantees, neither does not being the biological father rule you out of anything, but natural parenthood can only help.

There is another aspect of filing for custody which needs to be taken into account, and that is the linked issue of child support. If you can secure even a partial custody or visitation rights you will be in a better position to go through the traumatic issue of dealing with support and financial issues. If the court is doing the job it should be doing it will not award an payments which are for more than is needed to maintain the child, neither will it be so punitive that it effectively forces the father into non-compliance. It is regrettable that this seems to happen so rarely.

One you are aware of the implications and risks involved in filing for child custody you will be able to start the ball rolling. This can happen when you instruct an attorney to operate on your behalf. Don’t try to save money by skimping on this step, unless you have a perfect knowledge of the laws in your state and the confidence to be your own lawyer in court. There will be many trained lawyers in your area who can help you, as there are now so many cases, so make sure you consult one before filing for child custody.

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