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Michigan Family Law Blog

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Determining Child Custody and Visitation: How to Show the Kids Belong with You

Child custody issues can be emotional and complex. Both parents may believe that it is in the best interest of the kids if the kids stay with them. If your ex-partner is disputing custody, contact a Michigan child custody lawyer immediately to discuss ways that you can show that the kids belong with you.

Ways to Prove You Are the Best Parent to Receive Custody

Fighting over custody is stressful. Some things that you can begin doing now to help your case include:

Track Your Time

Note whether you or your child’s other parent takes your child to and from school, play dates, sports, and other activities. Who attends parent-teacher conferences, goes to doctor visits and attends activities? Keeping detailed records to show a judge that you are primarily responsible for seeing that your child is where he or she needs to be and that you are the primary contact for educational and health care matters, can help you establish that you should be the caregiver to have the children most of the time.

Describe Your Quality Time

It can also be very helpful for a judge to know what kind of quality time you spend with your children. Begin tracking the things that you do with your child outside of transporting him or her to various activities. Do you and your child spend time each evening reading before bed? Do you block off a few hours each weekend to play games or take a walk with your child? Are you the parent who sits down each afternoon or evening to do homework with your child? Are you the parent who takes your child to church each week?

Document Everything

If your ex-partner fails to pick up the kids or misses an appointment, document it. If there are instances of abuse or neglect, gather as much evidence as possible to document the abuse or neglect. Talk to your attorney about your ex-partner’s criminal history or history of abuse, illicit behavior, or addiction. Your attorney can help you find ways to gather evidence to prove these allegations. If anyone witnesses negative behavior by your ex-spouse, talk to your attorney about seeking a sworn statement. 

Monitor Your Behavior

There are things you should avoid doing before and during a custody case. Do not lose your temper in front of your children, your spouse, or others. Refrain from sending harassing or angry text messages, emails, or social media posts. Do not troll your ex-partner on social media (leave the investigation up to your lawyer). When dealing with your ex-partner, be polite and civil, especially in front of your children. Avoid even the appearance of any improper behavior. Even an appearance of improper behavior could give your ex-spouse leverage during a custody fight.

Contact a Michigan Child Custody Attorney for Help

Remaining an active and positive participant in your child’s life is one of the best ways to show a judge that your child belongs with you. The other way is to contact a Michigan child custody attorney for help as soon as possible. Contact Michigan divorce attorney Cameron C. Goulding today. The steps you take immediately before and during a custody action can have a significant impact on the outcome of the case.

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