How can I prepare myself for a child custody battle?

Pointers to help prepare for a child custody battle. I am not an attorney, for legal advice please seek an attorney and discuss your specifics with him or her. The following is posted for discussion purposes only.
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July 15, 2011 - PRLog -- Cathy's Question: My husband and I are going through a nasty divorce. We have 2 small children and he wants full custody of them. He has never taken them to the doctor, stayed home from work when they are sick, etc.  I also have suspicions that his live in girlfriend is doing drugs in the home.  Now he is lying to the court system trying to say that I am unfit. I am so scared that they will give him the kids. I know that this would not be in the best interest for them.  What can I do?

Richard’s Answer:
I am not an attorney, for legal advice please seek an attorney and discuss your specifics with him or her. The following is posted for discussion purposes only.

If you are facing a possible custody battle, you need to realize that the judge will consider the best interest of the child above all the other issues. You can find out the specific factors considered by looking up the child custody laws for your state.  Here are some things to get to work on:
•Getting an attorney is the first step.
•Start to keep a calendar and a journal documenting everything you do.  Try to the best of your recollection to recreate the past six months or year, writing down everything you’ve done and everything he’s done.
•You need to be prepared to show the court that you are the primary caretaker of the children and that you are able to parent on your own.
•Make a list of all the things you do for your son EACH day as well as all the things you purchase or pay for on behalf of you son.  This includes daycare, food, rent, electricity, etc. have bills and or receipts to back your claim.
•Prepare a photo album of photos of you with your children or of them happy in your care.  Anything you have prepared such as journals, photos or log may and should be admissible in court.
•Other documents such as school records or bank statements may need to be authenticated, in that case you will need to talk to the clerk or your attorney ASAP about subpoenas.
•Having a place to live and a job are important.
•Making arrangements for school and child care are also important.
•Demonstrate that you have community ties through church, neighborhood, friends, etc.
•Be prepared to show why his is not qualified to have custody of the children.
•Find people who will testify about problems with his parenting and people who will testify about your skills as a parent.
•Get an attorney and seek their advice!

Of course, if you have suspicions of harmful or potentially destructive parental behavior by him or his live in girlfriend, you need to acquire proof visit in order to supply this information to your attorney and ultimately to the court.  Keep in mind that the final decision always rests in the Judge’s hands and they have a considerable amount of latitude when it comes to making their final judgment.

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Source:Richard Travelstead
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