Losing custody or visitation of your children is one of the most heart-wrenching things that can happen to a parent. While this can be a devastating outcome, there’s still hope. There are several steps you can take to live a healthier life and get your child or children back.
In this blog, we outline the steps parents can take to get back custody, as well as common child custody mistakes to avoid along the way.
Want to Get Back Custody of Your Child? Here’s Where to Start
Under North Carolina law, in order to lose custody or visitation with your children, you must have been found to be unfit as a parent, have neglected the children, or done something else to make the judge find that visitation is not in the child’s best interests. If this has happened, you can take action to make this right.
Although every case is different, there are usually some general things that you need to do: you need to prove to the court that your home is a safe and stable place for the child to live; you may need to prove that you are financially stable, mentally fit, and a capable parent. By providing compelling, accurate evidence that your quality of life and living situation have substantially improved, you’ll be that much closer to being reunited with your children.
If you’re in this position, here are some steps you can take to begin the process.
1. Don’t Panic
If you’ve just lost your kids, you’re probably grieving heavily. This is totally normal and understandable, but you can’t let your grief turn into panic. You have options for turning things around, and the first step is clearing your head so that you can create a plan of action.
2. Evaluate the Problem
In order to successfully regain custody or visitation with children, you must understand the issues that caused you to lose custody in the first place. Why did the court rule the way they did? Were you falsely accused of abuse or neglect? Did you fail a drug test or violate a court order? Once you understand the issue, you can begin resolving it.
3. Work With an Experienced Family Law Attorney
If you’re serious about getting back custody or visitation with your kids, you’re going to need an experienced North Carolina child custody lawyer. A skilled child custody lawyer will:
- Help you make sense of legal jargon and court orders
- Detail your custody rights as a parent or guardian
- Outline the specifics of your case
- Uncover proven solutions to the problem
- Correctly follow all the court-mandated steps
- Fight on your behalf to protect the best interests of the child
4. Meet the Conditions of Your Court Custody Order
When you have a court custody order with instructions on how you are required to improve your lifestyle, you must complete each order to have a chance to get back custody of your children. Taking the necessary steps to make a better life for yourself and your children will help prove to the court that you’re an able and responsible person and parent.
If you need help with any of the following, you should reach out as soon as possible to start making the changes you need to get back custody of your child.
- Parenting classes
- Anger management
- Substance abuse treatment
- Mental health care
- Any other lifestyle change outlined in the court custody order
5. Be Patient
This may be the hardest one. Changing a custody order takes time. The judge won’t change his or her mind overnight — especially if some of the terms included long-term changes, such as getting clean from drug or alcohol abuse. Be as patient as you can and use this time to prove your commitment to being a good parent. Never miss a visitation, remember every birthday, and be there for your children when they need you.
Avoid These 3 Child Custody Mistakes
In order to give yourself the best chance of regaining custody of your children, avoid these three critical child custody mistakes.
Don’t Argue the Terms of Your Court Order
Arguing the terms of your court order will not help the situation and only make you appear less stable. The court’s priority is your child’s well-being. Your court order is written to ensure your children are living with and being cared for by a safe and reliable parent or guardian. Instead of arguing or complaining, work hard to complete these court orders.
Don’t Skip a Single Requirement
Even if you think some of the mandates of your court custody order are too severe, you should never skip even a single requirement. Fulfilling these terms with a smile on your face will prove that you’re committed to self-improvement and providing the best home possible for your children. And once you start noticing the positive changes in yourself and in your life, you’ll be that much more motivated to get back custody of your child.
Don’t Provide Any Doubt About Your Parenting Capabilities
Regaining custody or visitation is a grueling and emotional process that will test your character and resolve. But while you have a hard road ahead, you can’t give the courts or the judge in your case any reason to doubt your commitment to your children or your capabilities as a parent.
Surround yourself with a support system of friends, family, and coworkers to put yourself in the right position to get back custody of your children. Stay off of social media, pay your bills on time, avoid drugs and alcohol, and distance yourself from people who have been problematic in the past.
Most importantly, seek out an experienced North Carolina child custody lawyer. The support of a proven child custody attorney will improve your chances of getting back custody of your child and keeping your family intact.
Myers Law Firm Is Here to Help With North Carolina Child Custody Issues
At Myers Law Firm, we have decades of experience supporting families like yours through difficult times. If you would like to speak with an attorney about regaining custody of your child or children, please reach out to us today.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.