In regards to professionals, the divorce process has three major players - your attorney, your spouse’s attorney, and the judge. Your attorney will advocate your interests. Your spouse’s attorney will advocate your spouse’s interest. While the judge will base his rulings on what he feels is in your children’s best interests.
When deciding what is in your children’s best interests, the judge will consider a number of factors. One of the most important factors, and also one of the most overlooked factors, is precedent.
Precedent in the context of the child custody issue refers to your track record as a parent. When arguing the child custody issue in front of the judge, keep in mind, if you have a strong track record as a parent then the chances of the judge granting you primary custody of the children increases significantly. On the other hand, if you have a weak track record as a parent, you might as well not even argue your case for primary custody because quite frankly, the chances of the judge granting your request are slim.
What does a good track record as a parent look like? In other words, what factors does the judge consider when determining whether a person has a strong track record as a parent? Here is a list of three of the factors:
Factor #1 – The parent is gainfully employed. From the judge’s perspective, being gainfully employed does not mean that you are required to have an MBA and are a member of the executive board at AAA, Inc. From the judge’s perspective, being gainfully employed just means that you have stable employment and are financially able to provide for both yourself and your children.
Factor #2 – You have strong relationships with family members and friends. The judge will assume that it takes a village to raise a child. By showing the judge that you have strong relationships with family members and friends who live locally, you are showing the judge that the children will be better off living primarily with you.
Factor #3 – The children have lived primarily with you since the date of separation. When you argue your case for primary custody in front of the judge, at trial, be sure to tell the judge that the children have lived primarily with you since the date that you and your spouse separated. The judge will correctly assume that because the children have lived primarily with you, they and you have developed a daily routine. Further, the judge will assume that it is in the children’s best interest that they not be uprooted from that daily routine.
The three factors listed above are just three of several factors that the judge will consider when determining whether you should be granted primary custody of your children. If you want to educate yourself about the other factors, contact a divorce attorney in your community.