If you are involved in a custody dispute in Wichita or the surrounding areas of Kansas, you may be very concerned about the future of your relationship to your children. Whether you are involved in a pending paternity case or a divorce, child custody cases have a dramatic impact on a parent’s relationship with his or her children. In an ideal world, you and the other parent will negotiate an amicable agreement that resolves important matters like timeshare arrangements, responsibility for day-to-day parenting decisions, child support and other issues related to your kids. Unfortunately, family law cases do not always present an ideal situation so you may find that you are embroiled in a disputed custody case.
While experienced Wichita child custody attorney Thomas McDowell works diligently to find creative solutions that prevent stressful and contentious litigation over child custody and visitation issues, sometimes tenacious litigation is the only available option. If you find that you cannot work out your differences on parenting time arrangements and other child custody issues with the other parent, Mr. McDowell has suggested a few strategies for improving your situation in a contested child custody case:
Put Your Kids First: If a parent takes nothing more away from this article than this simply point, the reader will have gained a distinct advantage. The standard applied by Wichita judges in child custody cases is the same standard applied throughout most of the country – the best interest of the child standard. When a family law judge applies this standard he must consider many factors, but judges pay particular attention to the degree in which one parent supports his or her kids relationship with the other parent. If you demonstrate that you recognize the importance of your children maintaining a strong connection to the other parent, the judge will look favorably on your ability to put your children’s interest above any animosity you may feel toward the other party. By contrast, parents who do all that they can to disparage the other parent and frustrate the other parent’s access may find that the judge considers such conduct as evidence that the parent should not be the primary residential parent.
Abstain from Drugs or Excessive Alcohol Use: If you have a history of drug use or alcohol abuse, this can have a serious adverse impact on your child custody case. In most cases, the other parent will be aware of this history of substance abuse and may raise the issue in your child custody case. The judge may even impose a requirement that you submit to a drug test. While drug or alcohol dependency that is clearly in the past may not be a huge issue, a positive drug test or other evidence that you may currently be using illicit substances can have an extremely damaging impact on your Wichita child custody case. While it goes without saying you need to quit cold turkey if you become involved in a custody dispute, you should also seek legal advice at your earliest opportunity about how best to deal with this issue.
Wichita, KS family law attorney Thomas C. McDowell has been practicing law for over two decades and uses this experience to guide his clients past the difficult emotions that can derail constructive negotiations on child custody, parenting time and visitation issues. When a negotiated solution is not realistic, Mr. McDowell is prepared to zealously pursue the best resolution for his clients and their children. We offer a free consultation so that we can evaluate your situation so call us today at 316-633-4322 or submit an online case evaluation form.