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10 Things You Need to Survive a Custody Battle

10 Things You Need to Survive a Custody Battle

While the divorce rate in the UK may have remained relatively steady since 2010, the fact that 42% of marriages end acrimoniously there remains a source of genuine concern. Regardless of whether this is the result of infidelity, incompatibility or unreasonable behavior on the side of one or both partners, the impact can be significant, especially for any children involved. According to the Office for National Statistics, 48% of all divorced couples had at least one child aged under 16 living within the family, meaning that a significant number of youngsters are affected by marital breakdowns every single year in the UK.

The divorce rate is a major issue in many other countries as well, and it remains the responsibility of parents to ensure that any subsequent custody battle does not impact negatively on their child’s psyche. Fortunately, there is a wealth of expert advice available to parents who are seeking custody of their child, which can help them to pursue a course that serves the best interests of all parties.

With this in mind, let’s consider the fundamental components of a custody battle, and the tools that can help parents to achieve their goals in an amicable and productive manner:

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1. A Clear Set of Goals and Targets from the Outset

Knowing what you want to achieve from custody proceedings and matching this expectation with the reality of your situation is a key starting point for anyone embarking on this process. From the beginning you need to fight as hard as you can to receive as much time as possible with your children. Whether it is full or shared custody, or greater visitation time that you seek to achieve, the overriding factor here is to analyze and ensure the outcome you want is an achievable goal.

2. A Level Head

Custody battles may produce an unpleasant reaction from your former partner, and this behavior may well manifest away from the court room. It is therefore crucial to remember that you are an adult who strives to set an example for your children, so never rise to the bait and keep a level head at all times. By controlling your emotions, retaining the ability to think clearly, and defending yourself in a calm and assertive manner, you can create a favorable impression, both on your legal representation and the judge who oversees your case.

3. Reputable and Empathetic Legal Representation

Regardless of the precise circumstances of your case or the subjective ideals of right and wrong, you cannot hope to win custody of your children without sound and reputable legal representation. Not only must your legal team have considerable experience in the field of family law, it is also important that they are empathetic to your needs and the emotional challenges that you face as a parent. So be sure to shop around to find the solicitor who seems the most amenable to the results that you are trying to achieve, and take advantage of the fact that the majority of firms will offer a free, thirty-minute consultation and an informed appraisal of your case.

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4. A Concise Plan of Action

Custody battles consume a lot of time; you need to keep track of many different information strands that may prove important in court or at a tribunal. This allows you to be able to consider things ahead of time and provide critical information to your legal team. Should you find your visitation rights restricted during this time, for example, it is crucial that you keep a visual record for the court of the days that you were allowed to see your children and the days that you were not. This can serve as a powerful and emotive tool during the hearing, as it showcases willingness and an underlying desire to raise and nurture your child.

5. A History of Maintaining Child Support

Maintenance or child support issues must never be aired in conversations regarding custody. The last thing you want to do is sully the fact that you are the more nurturing parent with inappropriately timed child support discussions. Court or tribunal actors may cynically assume your wish to spend more time with your children is an economic consideration, aimed at reducing your financial obligations. Ultimately, as with any situation, you must obey legislation that applies to you. If it is your name on the birth certificate and you are legally bound to pay maintenance, you must make good your obligation.

6. Documentation to Support Your Case

In preparation for your custody battle, you will need to invest in a large file organizer. This organizer will contain every important document or file pertaining to your custody battle. A certified copy of the current custodial arrangement should be the first document included in this file. You must then familiarize yourself with the duties and responsibilities placed upon each partner, and create a list of the documentation that is necessary to support your fulfillment of these. Documentation can also help to support any claims you make during the hearing, so keep a copy of all telecommunications with your partner, and use a journal to detail any violation or breaches of an existing agreement.

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7. Open Lines of Communication with Your Ex-Partner

The use of term ‘battle’ in relation to custody is misleading, as ultimately it must be hoped that both you and your former partner want nothing but the best for your children. So while looking to achieve the aims you originally set a course for, look to engender diplomacy within the custody process. Clearly much of this depends on the quality of relationship you still enjoy with your former partner, but try not to lose sight of the fact that once the court proceedings end and the legal fees have been paid, there will be only yourself, your ex and your children to consider. Without open lines of communication and some common ground going forward, it is the children who will ultimately suffer as they grow older.

8. A Skilled and Motivated Mediator

Mediation is a quicker and cheaper way to assess and decide upon custody arrangement than going through the courts. In the UK in 2012, 67% of publicly funded couples resolved their dispute using a qualified mediator. The average timescale for mediation was 110 days, compared with 435 days for court proceedings. It is expected that use of mediation as an alternative to court procedure will continue to rise rapidly. This is a different process from the traditional court route and all mediators are meant to be entirely without bias, although the process does look to compel agreement amongst the parties.

9. A Willingness to Spend Your Hard-Earned Money

In the UK, legal aid for divorce cases is only available to victims of domestic violence or abuse. While family mediation is covered by legal aid, the vast majority of private family law cases in the UK are not included within this legislation. While the situation obviously varies from country to country, if you don’t have access to legal aid this means that if you are committed to pursuing custody through the courts, you will need to invest a great deal of your hard-earned money in securing legal representation and settling all associated costs. This is something that you will need to prepare for from the outset, as otherwise you will run the risk of exhausting your funding before the case arrives in court.

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10. A Respectable Appearance and Demeanor

Regardless of the legal route taken, be it mediation or court, your general appearance and behavior will be scrutinized by the officials who take charge of proceedings. You can rest assured that this process will prove lengthy; therefore on each occasion you attend a court or mediation date, you need to look and sound your best. These must not be considered occasions to vent your frustration, regardless of how you may feel. Everything that you do within these conditions must be rational and serve to further your own case, rather than providing ammunition for your partner’s legal team.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

The 20 Most Creative Instagram Accounts That Will Inspire You

Instagram allows you to see exactly what inspires people and how creativity is drawn from their everyday life. We use Instagram to capture what makes us smile, what brings joy to our life, and what we are passionate about, and the accounts listed below are sure to inspire you in turn.

Here are our 20 top creative Instagram accounts that you should be following today.

1. Humans Of New York

Brandon Stanton walks the streets of New York City taking street photography, and he gets his subjects to open up about life details that even many family members may not know about them. It makes you smile and connect with the images at a new level.

 2.  Paris in Four Months

Carin Olsson moved to Paris and is documenting every part of her experience, from the macaroons to the Eiffel Tower with all of its shimmering lights. If you want to go to Paris but can’t get there today, Carin will take you.

3. Civilized Caveman Cooking

George Bryant offers up more than his love for cooking Paleo cuisine as he shares more about life, joy, and happiness. His coined hashtag is #hugsandbacon.

4. Andrew Knapp

Andrew has taken the world by storm with his adorable version of Where’s Waldo? His version is Find Momo, and stars his border collie.

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5. Idafrosk

Ida Skivenes has developed a knack for food art. From the world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Strawberry Fields Forever, she has recreated it all with food.

6. GrandmaBetty33

Grandma Betty is fighting cancer and is inspiring others to smile and be happy in life. She brings a smile to your face instantly and is like having your grandma right beside you.

7. Maya_on_the_Move

Tania Ahsan captures the world of her cute bulldog, Maya, on her adventures in New York. Maya makes appearances that will make you smile, laugh, and inspire you to go out and create something special.

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8. Leoleoparis

Leo captures the life on the streets of Paris. Most of his work is done in black and white, offering that iconic Parisian look.

9. Jacob Santiago

Jacob Santiago creates stunning, vibrant images around New York City, showcasing the architecture and streets. I’m sure you haven’t seen the streets of NYC like this before.

10. Julie’s Kitchen

Julie Lee showcases how everyday produce can create colorful art designs. At first glance, you think it is just a design; then, a second take illustrates that it is really fruits and vegetables.

11. iloveplaymo

iloveplaymo brings together photography and Playmobil toys in action. The images are up to date with current world events and everyday life.

12. “Red” Hong Yi

Red Hong Yi loves to paint without a paintbrush. Her style uses daily items to create lovely images.

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13. Alexis Diaz

A breathtaking artist from Puerto Rico who loves to paint murals. Alexis’s work is featured all over the world.

14. Murad Osmann

Murad Osmann is a music video producer, but his claim to fame on Instagram has been his photographs with his girlfriend leading him by her hand.

15. Simone Bramate

Simone Bramate is a storyteller who just so happens to take delightful photos as well.

16. Willie Kessel

Willie Kessel brings beach life right to your smartphone. Amazing surf and lifestyle images that take your mind off of all of the work and stress in your life.

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17. Nick Ulivieri

Nick Ulivieri is a talented photographer who loves to capture the windy city of Chicago and skies, especially during storms. His images are gorgeous and make you realize how wonderful life really is.

18. Jo Jerry

Jo Jerry’s landscape photos around Santorini, Greece, make you want to book a flight immediately. The bright colors and simplicity in the images make his photos stand out from the rest.

19. GoPro

GoPro uses fan-sourced images on their account that are all captured with a GoPro. Creativity to the max is used in these images and range from the grocery store to incredible surf.

20. Vin Farrell

Vin Farrell is a creative who works on the agency side for large clients and has a knack for photography. His iPhone captures amazing aerial images around NYC and the world.

Featured photo credit: Andy via flickr.com

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