If you're a Lakewood parent undergoing a divorce from your child's other parent, you may be worrying that you might not get custody awarded to you. The good news is that judges' guiding principles when making custody decisions is what is best for the children.
The bad news is that this directive is open to a bit of subjective interpretation. However, the prevailing trend is to enable joint custody for the parents. Below are some tips that can help you prevail when you go in front of the judge.
Have a suitable and safe environment
If you are moving out of the family home, it may not be financially possible to provide each child with their own bedroom. While young children of opposite sexes may share a bedroom, once puberty hits, each one needs their own living space.
Ditto for kids with a big gap in ages. Judges will likely look askance at any parenting plan that requires a teen to share a room with a toddler.
Maintain a stable lifestyle
Do you have a steady job and pay your bills on time? The courts won't place a child in the home of a parent who is unstable or unable to keep the utilities on and the rent paid.
Make sure your work schedule allows you to parent effectively
It's difficult to mount a credible argument for custody of the kids if your job takes you out of town two or three weeks each month. You may not be able to switch your employment schedule, so work closely with your Lakewood family law attorney to ensure that you get as much time with the kids as is possible.
Don't rush to cohabitate
There's nothing wrong with entering the dating pool once you are single again. But there is also no need to rush into a new relationship and bring a new partner into the home you share with the children.
Remember that they are struggling to get used to the new situation without their other parent in the home. Forcing them to share living space with your new love interest adds another unnecessary layer of tension on the situation.
As long as you and your ex agree to keep the kids' best interests at heart, there should be nothing to impede joint custody being granted.