Most parents would agree that nothing is more important than the safety, health, and well-being of their children. Unfortunately, when a family divorces, the children are caught between the sometimes selfish interests of one parent and the genuine care of the other. Courts can only do so much to survey a couple’s situation before making a decision to grant custody to one parent. For the other parent, this can be devastating. The good news is there are ways to revisit a judge’s decision and possibly overturn it. The first thing you need is proper planning.
Learn from Your Mistakes
Judges in family courts have a duty to always do what is in the best interests of the child or children. Unfortunately, they cannot see the true history of your family—only what they are shown through court proceedings. It is possible that your ex’s legal team simply built a better case. Maybe you appeared nervous and couldn’t tell your side of the story in a compelling way. Certain pieces of information can be damning as well, such as evidence of abuse or neglect. You need to take a look at what may have caused the judge to rule against you.
Do Not Violate Your Court Order
A big mistake some parents make is to act out of passion and break their court decree obligations in an effort to win their child or children back. It only works in movies and should never be considered as a reasonable approach to obtaining custody. By strictly adhering to your requirements, you can develop a track record of being a cooperative parent to your child. This works in your favor.
Consult with a Family Law Attorney
If you settled your divorce on your own or with less than ideal representation, it is possible you missed a crucial detail that could have helped you obtain a more favorable outcome. No matter what, an experienced family law attorney can help you better understand your situation and make the best use of the legal options you currently have. You should not appeal the custody decision until you have a well-planned case that presents a compelling argument for your need to be a more central parent in your child’s life.
Evidence that Could Help You
While no parent is perfect, there are some mistakes that could be detrimental to a child’s healthy development. Courts want children to succeed. If you have evidence that the child’s current living situation opposes that goal, it is important that you speak with a family law attorney and see how to build a case that shows it.
Consider building a case to appeal your custody decision if you noticed:
- Malnourishment in your child
- Signs of physical abuse
- Changes in behavior from your child, including nervousness, aggression, listlessness, or some other sign
- Your ex cannot reliably support the child
- The child’s environment is unsafe
If you have correspondence that demonstrates this, hang on to it. You may be able to show the judge that your child needs to be with you.