Deciding Child Custody – Parenting Characteristics

Some parents have a fear that they know that they haven’t necessarily been the best parent in recent years, or in recent months even, and they’re concerned that that’s going to have a huge impact on their custody case. And so, I wanted to spend a little bit of time talking about that. A lot of times, just the separation of the parents alone is enough to be a wake-up call for a parent who maybe has not been the best parent in the past, and that’s okay. You as a parent always have the ability to change and to shift your priorities, and that’s always going to matter. And so, even if it’s only a few months or a few weeks before the hearing, and you’ve had this epiphany, and you know you’re going to be a better parent. And you really start to take on a visibly different role with your child, that’s going to be something that the Judge is going to listen to. And again, even if it’s after the order has been made, and you’re just– You know that you did bad before, and you got this unfavorable order. You’ve taken steps to improve your parenting, you’ve taken steps to improve yourself, you can always file for modification.

A good example of this is a parent who maybe has had a history of drug and alcohol abuse, who was kind of an absentee parent because of that. They’ve spent a lot of time going to rehab, attending AA meetings, and they’ve been sober for a certain period of time. That’s demonstrating to the court that they have changed, and that would warrant a modification in the previous order. So don’t worry if you’ve not necessarily been the most visibly great parent, or if you’ve had things in the past that will make you look bad in court, that’s okay. You always have the ability to change, and you can always go in and modify this order. And we’ll talk about modification at the end of this course. But you always have the ability to change yourself, and in turn the order change as well.

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