Archive for the ‘Custody Cliff Notes…And How to Win’ Category

Custody Cliff Notes…And How to Win

Monday, December 23rd, 2019

It is obviously unfortunate that so many people fight over their children…and who is more fit to raise them.  Statistics only tell a small part of the story.  For most of us, reality and day to day life dictate outcomes.  When parents do not live close to each other, the reality is that one parent will receive the lion’s share of physical custody.  It is plain unworkable to say the least.

Chancery judges are well-aware that a child cannot be equally split, unless you live a short jog from your ex.  Children need and deserve a primary custodian and anything short of neighboring your ex will preclude an award of joint physical custody.  Is there an easy answer short of getting back together?  Probably not, but the continuity of care of the child(ren) is always paramount.  Employment obligations also play a huge role in an award of physical custody.  Let’s explore the topic and attempt to find some clarity.

Although many people believe that equally split custody of a child is workable, the truth is that it is almost impossible in the real world.  For starters, the odds of you perpetually living in the same school district as your ex are not good…and that will always preclude true joint physical custody.  Never forget that courts are inclined to finalize your custody case and to never hear from you again…they have long lines and limited time.

What is my best advice as to winning custody of your child?  It may be more basic than you realize.  So, here are my 5 tips for obtaining custody…the “cliff notes”, if you will. 

1. Do not disparage or speak any ill of your ex…it is not good for your child and will reflect poorly upon you as a parent. See our many articles on parental alienation at They are available on our website, see the search bar at the top.

2. Have basic facts and witnesses that support your claim that you are the primary custodian of your child…remember that joint custody is a rarity and the more involved caregiver has an enormous upperhand.

3. Ensure that your child is given every opportunity to thrive academically and that you are helpful with their schoolwork, that you are highly involved in their lives.

4. Make absolute that your child is not around people with a history of domestic violence, drug use, or excessive alcohol consumption.  The court will not look kindly upon putting innocent kids in a crime-ridden scene.

5. Recognize that some degree of involvement of the “other” parent is paramount to your child’s happiness. They will not easily thrive without feeling love from both who created them. Cooler heads usually prevail, and anger is not helpful in any courtroom.

At the end of the day, the better parent has the upperhand…and should.  Being the better parent is not as easy as it seems for many of us.  If we can take the time to consider and trust our most basic judgments about what is best for our little ones, we have increased the odds of winning full custody of our kids.  Remember, in the end, that it takes two to create them, and although no one “wins” a custody battle, one of you will get the short end of the stick.