How to Take Charge of Your Custody Battle Without Losing Your Mind

If you are like most parents, your kids are the most important people in your life.  They are adorable and irreplaceable, and you would do anything for them.  If you are going to battle with an itinerant ex-spouse to determine the fate of your precious ones, then you need every arrow in your quiver possible.  This guide will help you understand the what you need to do to be successful in a custody battle.

  1. Understand the rules of the game.  Courts have broad discretion to protect the best interest of the children, which includes each child’s health, safety, education and general welfare.  Courts can take into account any number of factors such as the following:


  • evidence of abuse or neglect,
  • the age of the child
  • sibling relationships
  • degree of attachment between parent and child


Courts cannot take into account the gender or race of the parent.  One parent’s financial ability can’t be the sole factor in a custody decision. 


  • Be your best self.  During a custody battle, you actions and the words that come out of your mouth will be under a microscope.  Be careful of the way you behave with the ex-spouse and also with the children.  It goes without saying that any type of threatening or violent behavior should not occur, but also you should proactively behave as if the judge were observing you at all times.  Speak courteously to the ex.  Try not to take unreasonable positions. When you are with your child, give them your quality time.  If there are ways you can make yourself a better parent through overcoming addictions or seeking more education, look to improving yourself as a parent.  Taking the high road is not only the right thing to do, but it will give you an edge in getting the custody you seek.


  • Pinpoint Areas of disagreement with the ex-spouse.  In any legal case, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the opposing party.  Don’t just get frustrated with what they do, but look deeper to try to understand why.  If you can get to the why, then you will be one step closer to finding a resolution that will be acceptable to both parties.  If the issue is unresolvable, then by understanding your ex, you will be better able to fight them in court.  For example, if your ex-spouse wants a different schedule, look at why he or she is taking that position?  Is there a work schedule reason?  Is there a grandparent or otherwise, whose schedule is playing into your spouse’s mindset?  If you can get beneath the surface to understand your opponent’s arguments, then you have a better chance of a successful outcome.


  • Gather evidence and document everything.  Your word that the other person is a bad parent is not as convincing as solid evidence.  If a child care worker, neighbor, teacher has observed your ex-spouse abusing or mistreating the child, then have them document that observation.  Consult with your attorney on the best way to preserve this evidence, but don’t pass up the opportunity to memorialize important evidence. If your spouse has sent you malicious emails, organize those in a file for your attorney.  If your spouse has posted damaging comments on social media, screen shot that information and share it with your attorney.  It takes extra work to be organized and document everything, but in many cases that time in preparation pays off.


  • Consult with professionals.  If you feel your children are suffering from the custody battle, don’t hesitate to get them counseling.  If you need someone to talk to, turn to a trusted friend, look into community resources for counseling, or find a professional counselor who can help you.  It’s not uncommon to have a high stress level during a custody battle, and you can seek help.  Hire an attorney that you trust and who will be zealous in advocating your interests.



3 Tips Most People Don’t Know About Finding the Right Attorney

Attorney shopping can be quite the headache, especially when you consider that your reasons for actually needing an attorney may be a cause of unexpected stress in your life.  While many law firms claim that they are giving you the best lawyer in their firm, there are many other important factors to consider when finding the right representation for your case.

Here are 3 tips most people don’t consider when trying to find the right attorney:

  • The Right Attorney Is Available For You

Attorneys may be busy and may have a slew of other cases, however the right Attorney for you will be one that is available for you when you need him/her most.

When you’re shopping for an attorney, make sure that during your initial meetings you aren’t rushed out the door, or made to hurry over important details. The right attorney understands that your time and your circumstances are just as important as theirs and won’t make you feel rushed.

  • The Right Attorney Has Experience in Your Specific Type of Case

You are most likely aware that you should seek the help of a divorce lawyer if you want to get divorced, or a personal injury lawyer if you’ve been injured in an accident. However in addition to seeking the help of a lawyer who specializes in your type of case, you should also find one who actually has experience in your type of case.

Though an accidental injury lawyer may know the specifics about getting the compensation you deserve, a lawyer who has had experience with the specific insurance company you’re working with will be the right attorney for you!

  • The Right Attorney Has Confidence in You and in Your Case

In some types of cases, the attorney doesn’t get paid until you get paid, right? While that may be enough incentive for the average lawyer to work hard on your case, it is important to remember that the right lawyer for you will be one that has confidence in you and your case, and doesn’t just want to win for a paycheck.

Having confidence in your case means more than just bragging about their track record with similar cases and behaving arrogantly. The right attorney will exhibit confidence in your case by making the most of your situation, those involved and will in turn provide the best outcome for you.

So instead of being impressed by how many cases your prospective attorney has won in their career, consider choosing an attorney based on their availability, confidence in you, and how many cases they have won that are very similar to yours to have the most success with your case!

What is the Process for an Independent Adoption?

When seeking to adopt a child, there are several different routes that an adoptive parent could go. These various routes include different levels of help and support through the adoption process. An Independent Adoption places much of the responsibility on the adoptive parents to make sure that forms are filed on time and correctly. Although requirements may vary between states and even counties, this article will give you a brief look into what can be expected.
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How Do I Adopt a Child?

For a family with no kids, or even a family with children, the idea of adding a child to their home is a decision made out of love. The decision to adopt a child is only the first step in what can turn into a very long and drawn out process. This article will answer a few of the more basic and common questions to consider when you are deciding to adopt.
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Can I Get a Restraining Order?

*If you are currently in danger call 911*

Many people end up in relationships where things get out of hand and there is abuse involved. These troubled relationships can be with a spouse, a partner, a sibling, or even a parent. Nobody should have to suffer through these types of relationships and feel helpless. Seeking a restraining order may be a possibility to help protect you or someone you love.
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Am I Paying Too Much for Child Support?

According to the most recent statistics on, the mean child support due was $6050 annually. The mean child support actually paid was $3770, which is about $315 per month. These figures are based on 2011 and are national, not California – specific, but they give interesting context to the questions of whether you are paying too much child support or whether you are paying too little child support. This article is a brief overview of the basics of child support. For more information about child support or for help collecting unpaid child support payments, feel free to contact David Knecht at
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How do I get a divorce in California? Divorce Law Basics

If you are in a marriage that isn’t working out, you have probably wondered how to get a

divorce in California and what are the basic rules of divorce in California. This article will review

some of the divorce law basics, but for excellent legal advice, feel free to consult David Knecht at
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