How to Prove You Are the Best Parent in a North or South Carolina Court
In divorce or separation proceedings, one of the most difficult things to face, if you have kids, is the issue of child custody. Ideally, both parents would be able to work together for the sake of the child or children and reach a balanced agreement that is in the best interest of the child. Sometimes, however, there is a need or desire for one parent to have sole custody of children.
In North Carolina and South Carolina, courts uphold the standard of doing things that are in the best interest of the child. This includes not wanting to diminish a parent’s role in their child’s life unless it is absolutely necessary. Therefore, if one parent is hoping to gain sole custody, they will have to prove to the court the custody arrangement would be best for the child, and that they are the best parent for the child.
There are a few things that the courts look at when determining the best interests of the child, including:
- Child care arrangements
- Primary caretaker
- Drugs and alcohol
- Mental health of each parent
- Physical health of each parent
- Spousal abuse
- Abuse, neglect, and abandonment
- Interference with visitation rights
- Child’s preference
- Finances of each parent
- And more
The court will not automatically assume one parent is the best choice and will do their due diligence in looking at every aspect of the situation to determine the safest, healthiest place for a child.
How to Begin
If you hope to gain sole custody of your child or children, there are a few things you need to do to show the court that you are the best parent for sole custody.
To help support your case, you should gather documentation that proves the child does better, or will do better, in your home under your care. If there is a current custody agreement or a living arrangement in place, you should provide phone records to show calls between the child and the other parent as well as a visitation agreement or records of how often visits are happening, if at all.
Other documentation you should consider would be records pertaining to your child, whether they are medical or academic. If the child is having a lot of injuries or their grades are dropping while with the other parent, you can show that their home might not be the best environment.
If you have friends, family, or professionals that can vouch for your parenting abilities or your role as a caregiver, you should ask if they would be willing to provide a witness statement on your behalf. Consider reaching out to teachers, child care providers, or anyone that has seen you raising your child and can verify that you are doing the best for the child.
While you are in the process of proving you are the best parent, always remember to focus on yourself and what is best for your child. If you enter the court and verbally attack the other parent, a judge is not going to look at you as the best parent. Highlight why your home, your parenting style, and your relationship with the child make you the best choice for sole custody. When you take the high ground and focus on facts and the best interest of your child, you have a better chance of achieving a favorable outcome in court.
Additionally, if you show you are amiable to helping your child maintain a relationship with the other parent, the cooperation will look good as well.
Consider an Attorney
Child custody cases tend to be difficult for everyone involved, and things can quickly turn ugly when parents become pitted against each other. To ensure that you can put your best foot forward and not succumb to mudslinging tactics, consider hiring a child custody attorney in North or South Carolina. The attorney will be able to help you navigate the entire process and give you expert advice in proving you are the best parent.
Navigating North and South Carolina Custody Courts
No matter if your child custody case is the result of a divorce, separation, or you are just looking to modify an existing agreement, the legal team at Collins Family & Elder Law Group is here to help. With more than 85 years of combined legal expertise, we have helped parents in North and South Carolina with child custody agreements, child support cases, divorces, and more. Our team will guide you through the whole process of a child custody case and help you prove that you are the best parent in court.
Get in touch with our attorneys today to discuss your child custody case or any other legal issues you may have.