1) Stay as involved as possible in your children’s lives. Stop letting your spouse handle all the details of their activities now, and try to learn about every aspect of their lives. This includes schooling, extra-curricular activities, medical appointments and shopping for clothing.
2) Do not expose your children to any unhealthy or unsafe environments while they spend time with you. This may include keeping them out of your new relationship, as many judges will object to a child being exposed to other relationships while you are so early in the process. When you spend time with your children make it one on one time and don’t invite a third party along for the ride.
3) Never criticize the other parent while they children are in your care. Hurting your child’s relationship with the other parent is not a way to win custody. Judges will want to know whether you promote or prevent the other parent from having a relationship with the children.
4) Keep accurate records of everything. Winning at custody means keeping a calendar that shows when you spent time with the children, where you went, and who else was with you. If you spouse has dropped them off late or changed plans at the last minute, it will be recorded in your calendar for quick access.
5) Always be on time whenever you are picking up or dropping off the children. Any parent who is persistently late will not score points with the custody judge.
6) Remember to be flexible in your parenting plan too. If the other parent wishes to switch days or weekends, make every effort to do so. Custody judges tend to favor the parent who tries to make the schedule work.
7) Whatever you do, never let your children become involved in the issues of your court case. Courts do not approve of children knowing every detail of adult-oriented issues, especially if those details involve tearing down the other parent.
8) In many cases, your children will have the opportunity to tell the judge where they would like to live. If you know for sure that they want to live with the other parent, it may not be worth spending all of your money and time pursuing a custody victory. However, if you truly believe that living with you is in their best interests, then make every effort to win your case.
9) Be prepared to show the judge why the other parent should not have custody. Proof may include records of mental health issues, substance abuse, neglect of the children’s basic needs, or your children’s exposure to unhealthy relationships or environments.
10) Be sure to hire an experienced Colorado Springs child custody lawyer who will give you sound legal advice based on their knowledge of the Colorado family court system.