Before filing for custody of your children, consider these five things:
Have you been the primary caregiver of the children? Do you take them to their doctor appointments, attend parent teacher conferences? Does the day care provider call you when they are sick?
Do you have a support network in place? Do you have family members in the area who will help you out? Do you have a day care provider? Have you considered the cost of day care?
What is your work schedule? Do you have to work extended hours? Are you in the military and subject to deployment? The local courts are well aware of the special challenges that military parents face, make sure that you have considered those issues.
How old are your children and what is their gender? Mothers no longer receive a preference in custody cases but the court will look at the age and gender of children in making a custody determination, A teenage boy may need to be with his father. A preteen or teen age girl may need to be with her mother.
How do you get along with the other parent? This is one of the major concerns in a custody case. Both parents need to have a chance to continue their relationship with the child. If one parent is making it difficult for the other parent to have that relationship, the court may feel it is better for the child to live with the other parent. You need to make sure that you are supporting your children's relationship with their other parent.
If you need assistance with a custody case or if you need help in establishing a visitation schedule, give Hampton Roads Legal Services a call at 340-3100