Listen: 5 Child Custody Arrangement Tips
The new term for sharing child custody these days is Co-Parenting. I find this a bit ironic considering that’s what parenting actually is (or at least should be.) When it comes to working through a child custody arrangement here’s a few tips that will help you steer clear of the predictable pitfalls and problems in your pathway.
Institute a Consistent Custody Schedule
Set up a custody schedule and stick to it. This is important for a few reasons. First, children need a stable, predictable routine. It contributes to their sense of security and stability. Second, if you’re able to set up a regular custody routine at the outset once you file for the court ordered custody arrangement you may find that the court will generally keep the same custody arrangement. Judges often exhibit a tendency to go with routines already in place. Especially if those arrangements appear to be working. Finally, if you do end up having to hire a private investigator to document issues with the other parent, it’s helpful to already have a predictable, established routine. It’ll save you time and money in the long run and prevent the investigator from having to reinvent the wheel in the field.
2. It's All About the Children
Unfortunately, it’s common for children to be used as pawns in a child custody battle royale between the two parents. Fights and arguments ensue as the partners fight over the actual custody arrangement. For tip #2, learn this and learn it well: your feelings, your thoughts, your anecdotes and horror stories about the other partner, the fact that he never put the toilet seat down or that she continually nagged…all of this will be of no consequence in court. The court will have one and only one overriding concern; the stability and the well being of the children. And they’ll only be interested in actual, factual evidence, not rumor or innuendo.
3. Kids Say the Darndest Things
Your children may return from visiting the other parent and reveal all kinds of juicy tidbits about your ex’s lifestyle. It may include wild stories of drug and alcohol use, obvious neglect, painful abuse and even sexual activity. But you’re not going to be able to testify as to what very young children have told you. You’re going to need additional proof. If this occurs you may want to hire a private investigator to investigate these claims and gather evidence. You may also want to hire a therapist or psychiatrist to document the children’s testimonies.
4. Write it Down
Keep a written record. Write everything (and I do mean everything) down in a notebook. The process of sharing custody may begin like a beautiful Spring morning but it may end up like a trip to the gates of Hell. So be prepared. Document the times and dates you switch off the kids. If the other partner is late for the custody switch write it down. If the other partner calls and says she’s hung over and asks you to keep the children one more night write it down. Write down the date and time of each issue. Write down the good, the bad and the ugly. Family court can get particularly nasty and you may need this record in the future. And finally…
5. Hire a Private Investigator
Anyone whose been through a child custody battle (and we refer to them as battles for a reason) knows that it can go on for months or even years. You have to bring your A game. and you have to bring it early A good private investigator can gather evidence that will help you prevail. Generally, the parent that hires a private investigator is the parent that wins.
Until next time,
This is Scott Fulmer, the Utah Gumshoe, reminding you that the game…is afoot!
About The Utah Gumshoe Podcast
The Utah Gumshoe Podcast follows the real-life exploits, riveting case stories, investigative tips and insightful advice of Scott Fulmer, The Utah Gumshoe. Scott is a 20 year veteran Utah private investigator, surveillance expert and President/CEO of intellUTAH, a private investigation firm based in Salt Lake City.
He has written numerous articles on investigative and surveillance techniques that have appeared in PInow.com and other industry journals. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Persian Gulf War where he served with the famous 2nd Armored Division (Hell on Wheels). Whether you're a novice or an experienced investigator this is the podcast for you.
Articles from Scott Fulmer