Things to think seriously about in a child custody case

A family law commentator has recently expounded in a newspaper opinion piece on a few points that are important in child custody matters. We pass along those “things to think about” considerations here, since they commonly feature in family law and are equally applicable from Georgia to California.

A fundamental and preliminary point to note — and one we have pointed out for readers in prior blog posts — is that an automatic assumption of mom getting primary custody rights as a virtual default is off base. Times have changed, and custody laws reflect that by being more gender neutral than in years past. That is certainly true in Georgia.

A few bullet points serve admirably to summarize what to be thinking hard about in a child custody point. Central considerations should include the following:

  • Primary caretaker — As a parent seeking custody, it is key to show close and consistent involvement in a child’s life
  • Addressing parental fitness issues — A parent with any kind of substance abuse issue needs to address and take care of it in order to impress any family law judge in a custody hearing
  • Keeping an eye on technology — As we have informed readers in prior posts, damaging emails, voice recordings (think Mel Gibson), texts and Facebook entries can easily come back to haunt a parent in a child custody matter
  • Knocking down the other parent — Don’t do it publicly, and especially in court, since showing respect for a spouse goes a long way toward establishing your willingness to promote a child’s best interests

And don’t get involved in a child custody dispute without first retaining and thereafter scrupulously following the advice of a skilled attorney. Minimize the potential for problems and mistakes by adhering to the advice of a trained professional.

Source: Huffington Post, “How to lose child custody” Dec. 12, 2011

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