Updated: Jul 8, 2020
Compiling relevant information for your case is one of, if not, the most important steps to “winning” your case or at minimum, creating the change you are wanting to create in your family court order. Below, I’d like to share my step by step suggestions to be better prepared for your journey into a far to often adversarial system.
1. Decide on your ultimate goal. What are you wanting to gain from the family court system? Is what toy are wanting fair and reasonable? Is it in the best interest of your child? If so then move on to step two.
2. Figure out what you have as “credible” evidence to support the case you want to paint for the ruling Judge. Many times, we have an over abundance of “evidence” that seems relevant to us. When it is YOUR case, everything will seem “credible and relevant” but learning how to cycle through what you have and sort through more relevant evidence and separate it from what you “feel” is relevant will paint the perfect picture of why the Judge should rule in your favor. The biggest mistake that we make is thinking everything we have, matters. That will only get your attorney, if you have one, to sort through hours of screenshots, texts, emails, photos, social media posts, or whatever else you have and those hours of sorting ARE EXPENSIVE. Your attorney and/or you can build the best case if you know what matters and what to present.
3. Create “solid” evidence. Speak to the other parent (or litigant if it’s not a parent) strategically and make all conversations purposeful. Everything you say in writing, and sometimes verbally, can and will be used against you in family court. Make your words positive, strategic, keep them surrounding the best interest of the child. Everything you write should either create evidence to support your demeanor, your willingness to be kind, calm and always put the best interest of your child(ren) above all else. If you are not creating evidence, you should be creating defenses for anything that may be said against you. Using communication to create defenses is a powerful strategies that can be done subtly and without your child’s other parent even realizing what you are doing. Part of case building is creating evidence but an equally as important part is having defenses.
4. If you are using an attorney, be sure it’s an attorney working for you. Your attorney should be prepared to litigate if that is what it takes to get what your child(ren) deserve. Have a solid plan to ensure that your attorney is a good match for you. You should be able to reach your attorney when needed. Be sure your attorney has history in cases similar to your own. If you are a father, ask if they believe in fathers rights. Support fathers having equality, 50/50 or primary custody depending on what you are looking for. If you are a mother, ensure that your attorney believes in your mission. Supports your rights and your child’s best interest. Make sure mom or dad, your attorney is not looking for an aggressive and angry approach. Fight fair with your attorney, do not get lost in the fight because of your attorney. THAT’S EXPENSIVE.
5. Become the bigger person. It takes two people to fight. Stand your ground and do not allow yourself to be abused but do not fight unnecessary fights. Let the other party to your case fight alone. If they are high conflict, learn to respond with a calm they can not stand. You owe it to your children to not become just like the high conflict parent. Two wrongs “DO NOT” make a right. Separate yourself by not engaging in the same behaviors. 6. Strategy over emotion. When responding, communicating, co-parenting, preparing for court, ALWAYS use STRATEGY OVER EMOTION. Never react while emotionally triggered. ONLY react while strategically focused. STRATEGY IS KEY TO SUCCESS. Emotions can and will be used against you. Proper emotional reactions are typically viewed as instability and anger problems. Allow only emotions that are controlled and in check to show in your every move. Logically, we think it’s normal to be an emotional wreck when someone is messing with our children. There is no place for “logic” in the family court system. The sooner you understand this an illogical system and journey the sooner you can navigate it properly. 7. LEARN THE FAMILY COURT SYSTEM. Another one of the BIGGEST mistakes that we make is believing the family court system is a fair place who “CARES” about the children's best interest. The family court system is a multi-billion dollar industry.
8. Contact Parents Not Visitors custody coach which offers a wide array of support services to pro se litigants & attorney client relations. With our expertise clients and or their attorneys will have more time to focus on preparing, filing, and other child custody preparation task while we organize details to support our clients in non-attorney matters.