Child custody is an extremely difficult area of family law. These cases are often emotional and have a profound impact on the daily lives of both the parents and the children involved. The process of determining child custody due to a divorce or to establish a legal agreement can be difficult.
When parents enter child custody negotiations, few know what to expect. Understanding the child custody negotiation process and its key factors can help you better navigate your legal claim.
Court Priorities in Child Custody
When the court assesses child custody agreements, their only priority is the health and wellbeing of the child or children involved. Although shared custody is ideal, the court will not grant custody to a parent unless the judge is sure that the parent is fit to be a guardian. There are several factors that the court considers when assessing a parent’s ability, including:
- The parent’s involvement with drugs and alcohol
- The parent’s income and work schedule
- The parent’s choice of friends
- The parent’s mental and physical health
- The parent’s relationship to the child
- The parent’s housing situation
This is a thorough process, and the court takes each factor very seriously. Because of this, it is helpful to have an attorney to represent you. Your attorney can share your side of the story and help clarify any factors that raise concern with the court.
Social Media and Child Custody
Many parents do not consider how their social media use might affect their eligibility for custody. However, the court may use your posts to inform their decision. If you have a lot of photos of you drinking and partying, the court will likely see this as a negative. Even if you are not directly doing these things, photos of you with others who are engaging in poor behavior can reflect poorly on you in court.
If you are fighting for child custody, be careful about what you post online. Set your accounts to private and ask friends to refrain from tagging you in any posts or photos that may be unbecoming. Even if you are a fit parent, your child’s other parent can easily use your social media as proof that they should get full custody.
Drugs, Alcohol, and Child Custody
One of the most concerning factors for the court is a parent’s relationship to drugs and alcohol. If you have a substance use disorder or are abusing controlled substances, the court will likely find you ineligible for child custody. However, if this is your reality, it is important to know that the situation is not permanent.
Attending rehabilitation and group therapy sessions to achieve long-term sobriety can help prove that you are fit to have custody of your children. Sometime after this, you can seek a modification of your child custody agreement. During this modification hearing, you can show the judge the steps you have taken to be a better parent. They may offer you some visitation or custody for which you were previously ineligible.
Work Schedules and Child Custody
The court assesses a parent’s work schedule to determine whether they can properly care for their child. When a parent works long hours, or is overly dedicated to their job, it can be a negative factor in the eyes of the court. A parent must have time to spend with their children on most days if they wish to have custody.
If you have a high-pressure job and want custody of your children, it is imperative that you have an attorney to represent you. We can help you show the court how you plan to make time for both your career and your children.
Q: Can Fathers Get Full Custody in Omaha?
A: Yes. A common misconception is that mothers have an advantage over fathers in family court. In reality, a parent’s gender does not contribute to their eligibility for custody. The court is only concerned with the child’s wellbeing and each custodial parent’s ability to facilitate a happy and healthy home. If a father best provides this for their children while the other parent cannot, the father will achieve full custody.
Q: I Was Denied Custody; What Do I Do?
A: Your course of action after a custody denial depends on your unique situation. If you believe that there was a misappropriation of justice, you can potentially appeal your case to a higher court. If this is not an option, you may be able to seek a modification once your circumstances have changed. For example, you were denied custody because of an insecure housing situation. You can file for a modification once your housing situation has become stable and permanent.
Q: Do I Have to Go to Court for a Custody Negotiation?
A: It is in your best interest to go through the Omaha court system when seeking custody. This way, the court can decide what is best for the child. Additionally, the agreement will be enforceable in court. If you come to an agreement directly with the child’s other parent, there is no way for the law to take action if one or both parties fails to uphold their side of the agreement.
Q: Do I Need an Attorney for Child Custody Negotiations?
A: You should have a child custody attorney when going through child custody negotiations. Even if you are a good parent, your child’s other parent’s lawyer can paint you in a bad light to achieve their client’s custody goals. Without the means to properly defend yourself, you may end up with an unfavorable custody agreement. You may even need to pay child support.
Contact Stange Law Firm in Omaha
For many years, our team has been helping families in the Omaha area navigate family law issues like child custody, child support, divorce, spousal support, and more. If you are facing a family law case and need representation, our expert lawyers are here to offer high-quality legal counsel.
For more information about our services, please contact Stange Law Firm online today.