This is the conclusion of our two-part blog post providing tips to parents involved in contested child custody cases in Kansas. If you have not reviewed Part I, you may wish to do so before reading this conclusion. If you have other questions about Wichita child custody cases, we invite you to schedule an initial consultation.
Do Not Wait to Seek Temporary Custody/Visitation Order: Some parents who move out of the family residence or allow the other parent to move the children out of the home delay seeking legal representation or taking action to obtain temporary orders. This approach is extremely risky because the Kansas family law judge will look closely at the time that the other parent effectively is acting as the “de facto” custodial parent. This becomes an especially important issue if the other parent is being uncooperative in terms of your requests to see your kids. If the other parent refuses you the opportunity to spend significant time with your kids, you should contact a Kansas child custody lawyer about filing for temporary orders to secure parenting time with your kids, and you should document requests to spend time with the kids in writing through mail or email. These records can help you establish that the reason for your lack of contact was not a lack of interest but the non-cooperation of the other parent. However, even documenting frustrated attempts to see your kids may not have much impact if you do not file promptly for a court order.
Avoid Putting Employment Obligations before Your Kids: While this suggestion may be unrealistic given your occupation and job demands, the reality is that long hours at work will put you at a distinct disadvantage if the other parent is available to spend significant periods of time with your children. The more time you can spend with your kids, including being involved in school, extracurricular activities, sports competitions and the like, the better off you will be in a child custody dispute in front of a Kansas family law judge. Many disputed child custody cases involve an attorney appointed for the child (often referred to as a “guardian ad litem”) or a child custody evaluator. Either of these child custody experts will look closely at the level of involvement and bond between each parent and the minor children. If you can shift your work schedule to allow you to be available during more overnight periods, this many improve your prospects of obtaining more custodial parenting time. This may even include a split week arrangement where you have the kids with you half the week, and the other parent has the kids in his or her home half the week. However, you must be available during these periods because the judge will not typically put the kids with a third party caretaker if the other parent is available to take care of the children.
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 invite you to schedule an initial consultation so that we can evaluate your situation so call us today at 316-633-4322 or submit an online case evaluation form.