You might be like many people in Georgia or elsewhere who prefer to avoid confrontation. Perhaps your parents argued a lot when you were growing up, and you don’t like it when people raise their voices. Then again, perhaps you grew up in a loving home but simply feel uncomfortable when someone tries to provoke you in a disagreement. Preparing for child custody proceedings might be a worrisome topic for you, then.
Especially if you think your ex is going to make trouble, such as refusing to negotiate or cooperate for the sake of your children to resolve a difference of opinion between you or to devise a fair co-parenting agreement, you might have your work cut out to achieve a favorable outcome in court.
Proceedings begin before you enter the courtroom
Keep in mind that the better prepared you are for child custody proceedings, the greater chance you’ll have of winning the court’s favor, which is what you’ll be trying to do if you and your ex both want to be the custodial parent of your children. It’s best to think ahead and to know exactly what you plan to request of the court, and why.
If you’re seeking sole custody, for instance, the court will want to know why you believe your children would be better off living with you as opposed to living part of the time with you and part of the time with their other parent. It’s also wise to be well aware of your financial status, including how much money you need to provide for your children’s needs.
Be prepared to present character witnesses in court
If your ex is trying to convince the court that you’re not fit to have custody of your kids, you’ll have to prove otherwise. You might want to speak with your child’s teachers or coaches, or neighbors or other people who can testify on your behalf that you are a capable parent who has his or her children’s best interests in mind.
Custody, visitation and child support
During child custody proceedings, any or all of these issues might be addressed in court. Once the judge overseeing your case issues a court order, you and your ex are both obligated to adhere to its terms, no matter what. If your ex disregards the court’s order, such as not showing up to exchange custody at the agreed upon location and time, you may bring the matter to the court’s attention.
The average family court judge does not look favorably on a parent who refuses to obey the court’s orders and can hold a parent in contempt of court if there is evidence to merit such a ruling. The priority in child custody cases is always the children’s well-being. You should never hesitate to reach out for additional support if you believe that your ex is not providing for your children according to the court’s orders.