How to Get or Keep Custody of Your Children
Massachusetts Child Custody Lawyers
Full custody or sole custody is when one parent is designated as the parent with primary legal or physical custody—often both. In these cases, the non-custodial parent is often given visitation rights or at least supervised visitation, although that is not always the case. If you have children and you are facing an impending divorce, you likely want equal or full custody of your children.
While there is no sure-fire way to guarantee custody, there are certain steps you can take that could give you an advantage:
- Beware of what you say or post on social media
- Demonstrate interest in your children
- Don’t move out
- Keep your children out of the divorce
- Consider hiring a Guardian ad Litem
While we usually try to settle divorces by entering negotiations with the other spouse’s lawyer, sometimes the other side becomes unreasonable and going to court is necessary. We approach every case as if it could go to trial, but with the intent to create a mutually beneficial outcome. However, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits all approach to divorce. Every case is different, but our attorneys will always act in your best interests. The first step to being prepared is to hire a firm with the experience needed to handle a variety of situations.
Manage What You Say on Social Media
If a custody dispute is on the horizon, think twice before posting on Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media. This is because the other side can use something called “electronic discovery” to access records from your social media and use it against you in your custody dispute. Avoid disparaging your spouse (directly or indirectly), posting pictures or comments showing alcohol or drug use, posting pictures or comments about a new relationship, or posting photos that show your children in a setting that suggests inappropriate supervision on your part.
Demonstrate Interest in Your Children
Demonstrate interest in your children and involvement in their lives. As a parent, you already care very much for your children. However, if divorce is on the horizon, make sure to show your love by attending their school or sporting events, picking them up from school, and spending time bonding with them on the weekends.
Don’t Move Out
Moving out of the marital home is one of the biggest divorce mistakes a spouse can make. In most cases, the spouse who moves out stays out. If a person moves out of the home that their children live in, this could give the false impression that they do not prioritize being with their children.
Keep Your Children Out of It as Much as Possible
Avoid involving your children in your divorce more than they need to be. Far too often, children are dragged into contentious custody battles and can suffer emotional harm as a result. Don't speak negatively about your spouse in front of your children, and especially avoid making your children feel as though they should choose sides.
Consider Hiring a Guardian ad Litem
While there are certain factors that all judges must look at, each one brings his or her own morals and values into the decision-making process.
Our firm often suggests hiring a guardian ad litem (GAL) as an expert.
Contact Miller Law Group, P.C. today to discuss representation from an experienced Massachusetts child custody attorney.