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The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague The Law Offices of W. Douglas McKeague
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California Child Custody Tips


You have a right to spend time with your child after a divorce or separation by virtue of being their biological parent, barring having been convicted of certain crimes. How much time you will be allowed to spend with your child will be determined by the court, however. The following are some helpful pieces of advice for those facing custody battles to have the best chance at winning custody or the maximum amount of visitation.

  1. School performance: help your children with school as much as possible. Since family courts take a close look at a child’s attendance and grades, encourage them to have good attendance and study hard.
  2. Physical proximity: as far as it depends on you, stay close to your children and their school. The closer you live to them, the more practical sense it makes to take your children to school and other activities.
  3. Quality time: rather than spending your time worrying about what the other parent is doing, remember that time spend with your children is to show them love and guidance as a parent. This includes avoiding unnecessary conflicts with the other parent.
  4. Child Support: maintain perspective if you start getting bogged down in paying a few hundred more dollars per month on your child. Fighting over such issues can become a waste of your time and money.
  5. Your child’s health: Find out who your child’s doctor is and ensure they are eating right and getting exercise. If your child has poor health or hygiene this will reflect poorly on you as a parent, and courts place a high value on the well-being of the child when determining custody.
  6. Stop obsessing over your ex’s behavior: If the other parent is consistently and chronically late to pick up of drop off your child, you should be concerned; otherwise, obsessing over their behavior can appear petty and foolish to the court and may hurt your custody case.
  7. Do not alienate the other parent: your goal in a custody case is to be able to spend quality time with your child rather than attempt to rob the other parent of the same right. Lying or falsely accusing the other parent to win the upper hand is not in the child’s best interests and you can lose custody if the court finds out you are being dishonest.

For more advice on how to work towards a positive resolution of your custody case, speak with an Orange County divorce attorney and schedule your free case evaluation.

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