If you’ve lost custody of your children, you’re likely willing to go to extraordinary lengths to get them back. Some parents resort to kidnapping their own children, and this generally doesn’t end well for anyone involved. What many parents don’t always realize is that custody orders aren’t set in stone. They can be changed, and there are legal ways to win back child custody.
Why You Lost Your Custody Battle
Courts award custody based on the children’s best interests. Before you approach the court to attempt to change your situation, take a good look at what happened, and figure out why.
The courts consider a variety of factors when awarding custody. It may be that one parent has a substance abuse issue or has been accused of child abuse or neglect. In some cases, the judge doesn’t see shared custody as practical simply because the parents live too far apart.
Seek Legal Counsel
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to seek knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel. Dealing with a custody matter in court alone isn’t the best idea. Your ex will likely have an attorney to represent their interests, and you should too.
A qualified family law attorney can assess your situation and outline your options. They will protect your rights and present the most compelling case to help you win back child custody.
Address the Issues
With the advice of your attorney, address the issues in your life that led to you losing custody of your child. If the court previously placed any stipulations on your ability to recover custody, such as seeking counseling or substance abuse treatment, have you fulfilled those demands?
Even if there were no requests from the court, you might be able to make some changes that the court will view favorably. In some cases, it would be helpful to have character witnesses, either in writing or in person, who will speak on your behalf.
Request an Evaluation from the Court
Once you begin working with a lawyer, and are addressing the issues that are keeping you from your children, ask the court for an in-home custody evaluation. This will provide the family law court with an updated assessment of you and your home, which could help your efforts to win back child custody. You can also ask your attorney to appeal the original custody order.
Follow Court Orders
Make sure you attend every court hearing and avoid re-scheduling appointments with a mediator or your child’s guardian ad litem. Be patient and compliant as you wait for the re-evaluation of your child custody arrangement and make every effort to be courteous when picking up your children from visits.
Navigating a custody issue can be incredibly complicated, not to mention stressful. The experienced family law attorneys at AB Law can advocate for your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.