(Guest family law blog post based on family law practice in the US and generally; Views are those of the author and not necessarily those of FamilyBlawg)
Are you wondering is it possible to win a child custody battle without a lawyer? Well, the good news is that you can get some respite from the struggles involved in child custody proceeding. This is because you can embark such a proceeding without legal representation.
Here’s a list of 5 Easy Steps To Win A Child Custody Battle Without A Lawyer:
Go to a clerk in the court and obtain a motion for child custody or modifying a child custody form. The court clerks will typically maintain these forms, required to address a range of custody issues. Some locations allow you to download relevant forms available on the court’s website. Indicate to the court that that the existing custody arrangement is no longer serving the best interest of the child. Complete the motion for modifying the child custody form. Take care to follow all the instructions given by the court clerk.
Study your state’s existing child custody laws. You can easily undertake this by accessing the legislature website of your state. Additionally, you can visit a Legal Aid office or law library, where you could read about the relevant legal provisions, find forms or copies of motions, ask questions and understand more about successful child custody cases.
Keep a detailed record of all calls and visits with your child. If you have issues with the other parent not allowing you visits or late visits of the other parent, write them down to use during the hearing. Participate in all social, psychological and home evaluations. This will facilitate your case in moving forward quickly. It will indicate to the judge that you are co-operating. You could give a specific example if there is a change in circumstance, in order to support your request to change custody. For instance, if the custodial parent has developed a problem related to substance abuse, it can serve as a sufficient status quo alteration in the given situation.
Obtain your hearing date either from an administrative assistant for the judge assigned to your case or from a clerk of the court. On the day of the scheduled hearing, present all the evidences to support your request for child custody or to support the requested modification of an existing custody arrangement. Learn all the local court procedures and rules. Every court has their procedures and rules for custody cases. Find the procedures and rules followed by your court.
Prepare for the court hearing a week in advance. Gather all the important evidence, motions, exhibits, rules and laws. Make a short summary to be read aloud in the court, favoring your case. Mark all the important key points for you to remember. Reach on time to attend your hearing. Carry all the notes, exhibits, responses and your evidences supporting your child custody application. Dress appropriately, preferably in a business attire. Address the judge appropriately, as “Your Honor,” speak clearly and follow all the court rules.
Remember, the decision to obtain or modify child custody, is an emotionally challenging and legally complex procedure, under the family law proceedings. Prior to taking any action, you must correctly comprehend the essential elements associated with an existing order for child support without undertaking any legal assistance.