If you find yourself fighting for custody it is crucial to have your facts checked out and everything in order before you’re good to go. This can also be a rollercoaster of emotions, often leaving kids confused and parents worried about the outcome. However, know that there are several ways to resolve custody disagreements without going to court. This article will discuss the steps you’ll need to take to file for custody. Keep on reading and see your options.
Where to find the right lawyer?
The steps of a custody case will depend on the particulars of your case, as well as any circumstances or law surrounding it. If you need a bit of help and you’re looking for an amazing children’s lawyer make sure to check out Borne Advokaten. You will get professional help with custody, and all of your questions about residence, visitation, or forced adoptions will be answered. You have the opportunity to get free legal assistance for a lawsuit about your child’s residence and/or custody as well as for a forced removal case. Give them a go and know that you’re in safe hands.
What are the steps for filing for custody – 2023 Guide: Top 8 steps
1. Communicate & do your research
If this is your first time filing for custody or your first encounter with law in general just know that you should be prepared. Do your research, do not rush the process, and be ready for it both mentally and financially.
The first step in every custody case is for the parents to talk to each other. Discuss what the two of you think is best for your kid/kids and work from there. Get an attorney who has been in this line of work for years and has the proper experience. The process shouldn’t be too hard or messy to solve, as long as you and your partner are willing to communicate.
2. File the petition in court
File a custody complaint with the court as your next big and important step. It is important to do that in the place where the parent or the child resides or in the county where the child is physically present at the given moment. You can pick out several different forms that are specific to your case, so make sure that you go for the one that applies to you. Don’t forget that there is a filing fee to start the custody case. In case you’re unable to pay for it fill out a form titled “Petition to Sue as an Indigent” and request that the court waives the filing fee for you.
3. Serve the papers & consider additional classes
Once you have your paperwork and you have paid the fee to start a custody case it is vital to give the papers to the other parent. Serve them copies of your arrangement, but do not do it in person. This is something that law enforcement officers or a private process server have to deliver.
Also, attending a parenting education class before going forward with your case is a step that is quite popular all over the U.S. See if this is available in your case and if the two of you are willing to take it before taking the case to the next step.
4. You have to appear in front of a judge
Depending on where you live, you may need to take additional steps before the court schedules a custody hearing. This includes interviewing children, both parents, and anyone important for the case (relatives, therapists, etc). Your case will first go to trial before it reaches the judge. At trial, both you and the other parent have the right to present evidence. This evidence usually includes testimony, pictures, or police records. The judge will have the final word about your case. A judge’s priority in every custody trial is to determine what’s in the child’s best interest. The case is always treated properly and looked at from a child’s point of view and interest.
5. What a child wants
In cases like these if the child is old enough he or she can also express thoughts and wishes on who to live with. A judge’s priority in every custody trial is to determine what’s in the child’s best interest without making pressure or causing any type of discomfort. This can vary overall from one country or continent to the other. However, most courts agree on the following:
- It is vital to inspect both parents and their ability to provide the child necessities, like food, clothing, and shelter
- How close the child is with the parents, do they have siblings, etc
- They should look into criminal records or history of domestic violence
- Each parent’s mental and physical wellbeing
There’s no one-size-fits-all test for custody. The questions and evaluation are key for this complicated court procedure.
6. The final steps of a custody order
Once the court concludes the hearing, the judge will issue a decision. This decision can take some time to make, which is why it is vital not to miss any appointments and to present evidence clearly to speed it up. In some cases, the judge will make a decision and issue a custody order on the spot. In other cases, the decision is written out and delivered in the mail in a week or two. If you’re unhappy with the judge’s decision, you can appeal the order, and you should do it within the shortest time possible since the window frame is not that long. For any other unanswered questions, you can ask your lawyer.
Are you feeling confident?
Do you feel like you have all the right tools for tackling this case? Take everything that we wrote into consideration and talk with your lawyer before making any big or small steps. Be prepared for the process and gather your evidence and you will end up with the best possible outcome.