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Custody battles can be difficult to win and emotionally breaking.  Hiring an experienced child custody attorney is your best assurance of a positive outcome.  A NYC family law attorney can protect your legal rights, but it’s up to the client to take a few steps toward obtaining your goal.

Act First

Anytime a parent senses unusual tension between themselves and the other parent, talk to them about it and try to resolve it civilly.  If it appears that legal action must be implemented DO NOT wait until your ex-spouse hires a family custody lawyer and takes action first.  You need to take the first legal step and locate a New York custody attorney immediately to file a custody motion in the appropriate jurisdiction.  Parties attempting to save a little money and file paperwork on their own may end up making mistakes.  Individuals not familiar with the law unintentionally prolong the legal process.  For example, filing a Petition regarding custody at the wrong jurisdictional location can set a parent back months from obtaining custody of their child. 

Pay Child Support

During the early stages of a family separation child custody and child support are two legal issues most parents are concerned with.  Parents currently not living with their child and have no order of support against them are recommended to still pay something towards child support.  Always pay with a check or money order and never with cash.  Keep all receipts and a record of payments made for evidence.  Paying child support shows the court you truly have your child’s best interest in mind. 

No Arguing

Do not argue with the other parent, especially in front of your children.  New York family court judges look down on parents that cannot hold their temper and emotionally abuse their children.  Save all major conversations for a time when the children are not around, or handle those discussions over the telephone.  Anytime your ex-spouse wants to argue with you simply hang up and keep a record of the call.  This is evidence to protect you in case the other parent attempts to fabricate the truth during a custody action.

Keep Records

Always keep accurate and current records and receipts of child support payments, dates of each visit and activities with your children, receipts of gifts purchased, and a summary of conversations with your ex-spouse, along with the day and time.  Anytime you feel uneasy about a conversation let someone in your family know about it.  It’s helpful when another party is aware of the difficult time your ex-spouse is giving you during a legal battle. 

Contact Police

If after having a conversation with your ex-spouse you feel uneasy or if they have made threats towards you, contact the local police and make a report.  This is important not only for your safety, but it builds a history of harassment and threatening behavior against the other parent.  Not every time you contact the police will they be arrested, but obtaining a police report with the details of the incident is key evidence in any child custody case.  In serious cases the police will make an arrest and guide you on how to obtain a restraining order against the other parent.

Visit Children Often

One of the worst actions a parent can do during a child custody case is not visit their children and not show up for scheduled visits.  This hurts your children and shows the court you may not be serious about custody.  Your ex-spouse is keeping a record of each visit you miss and call you do not answer.  This will be used against you in court and is difficult to defend.  If you have to work and know in advance then simply call the other parent and reschedule as soon as you find out.  Then explain this to your children so they know it isn’t their fault.

Go To Court

Do not show up late when you appear at court.  Ensure you look in the mirror several times before leaving the house.  Showing up at court with ripped jeans or a work uniform on does not impress the judge.  Find your nicest suit and newest shoes.  If you do not have a suit then look for something in your closet that is clean, ironed, and without holes. 

A NYC family law attorney will explain the importance of all the steps written above.  Contact only an experienced custody lawyer in New York to handle the future of your family.  Attorney Gilmer of Brooklyn, NY ensures his client’s rights are protected and the best possible outcome is obtained.


George M. Gilmer, Esq.

26 Court Street

Brooklyn, New York 11242