There are many considerations the court weighs in awarding custody to one party or the other. One of the considerations that seems to be more heavily weighed in recent times is that of the issue of co-parenting. How well are the parents able to co-parent and allow the other party the freedom to make independent decisions? When it comes to this very important consideration there are some key influencers that can help position you for success in the realm of co-parenting.
Let’s explore some of those influencers and how you can use them to position yourself better. One of the most common criticisms of feuding parents is that the other parent is unable/unwilling to care for the child and the child’s needs. To address this criticism consider the impact of extracurricular activities. Most children today are involved in some form of extracurricular activity. Whether it’s sports, academic clubs or youth groups, children are involved in activities. We see so many parents miss out on this key influencer.
Here’s how you can use this to your advantage and help yourself, your case and better your child’s life. Consider getting involved (heavily is preferred) in the activities. Coach the team or be an assistant coach. Be an advisor or leader or volunteer in the club. Be a chaperone to a youth group event. By interjecting yourself into the activities you are accomplishing several key issues. You are learning about your child’s activities on a whole new level. You are getting additional time with your child that you may not get from the court order. You are creating potential collateral witnesses that you can use in court.
Another influencer in your custody case is health care. We see many parents either argue about or criticize the other parent for not being a “caring” parent because they don’t know anything about the child’s doctor. Change that. Go to the child’s doctor office or dentist and make sure you are on the emergency contact form. Find out when your child has appointments and show up to them (even if it’s not during your time). Go to the health care provider’s office and ask for your child’s health care records. Such conduct creates many opportunities for finding witnesses, being involved and showing your level of commitment.
Finally, consider the influencer of school. Go to school to meet the teacher and principal. Ask for parent/teacher conferences to stay on top of what your child is doing. Volunteer in the classroom if allowed. Go to recess or lunch and visit with your child. The school grounds give you a lot of chances to meet influencers that the court will surely listen to as well as increasing your time with your child outside of the court order. These are just a few of the mass influencers that you can use to your advantage in a custody case.