How Do You File For Full Custody of a Child? 

If you are filing for full custody of your child, you will have to present a strong case in court. You will need to convince the judge that the other parent is unfit. Often, this will require a lot of evidence, including statements by witnesses. 

(Searching for “law firms Missoula MT“? Visit our website!)

Whether you plan to hire a lawyer or represent yourself, you should know your rights. Your first step is to contact the court where the child resides. Once you have done this, you can fill out the necessary forms and turn them in to the court clerk. You should then wait for a decision. Depending on where you live, you will be required to pay a fee. 

The other parent may refuse to respond to your petition, or you may be denied. In some cases, the judge will consider “extraordinary circumstances” before making a decision. Some judges even consider the wishes of a deceased parent. 

It is important to keep a journal of your conversations with your child. Keep notes that include dates and times of your phone calls and visits. Make sure you write in age-appropriate terms and do not share any irrelevant details. Do not let your ex see your journal unless you give him or her permission. 

Before you start the court process, it is a good idea to research the laws in your state. You should also speak with a family lawyer who will be able to advise you. However, if you do not want to hire a lawyer, you can try to use the court’s free legal resources. 

To file for full custody, you will need to serve the other parent with the court documents and forms. These documents will be the basis of your argument. When you are ready to make a presentation in front of the court, you will have to make an opening statement. This is a summary of the key facts and evidence supporting your claim. A professional, polished appearance will help. Wear clothing that is appropriate for the courtroom. Avoid wearing a skirt, pants or dresses that are too short. 

You will need to file a Complaint for Custody with the Circuit Court where the child resides. The filing fee is $165. After you have filed the paperwork, you should be contacted by the court and informed of the next steps. Unless you are an attorney, you may not have the resources to take the case all the way through to a court trial. 

Your opening statement should summarize the key facts and evidence that support your claim for custody. You should not spend too much time arguing. Instead, you should focus on presenting a logical, persuasive case that protects your child’s best interests. 

Be prepared to have your testimony cross-examined. This means you will be asked to discredit the other party’s witnesses. Sometimes, it is best to have a neutral third party testify on your behalf. 

Remember, your first goal in a custody dispute is to protect your child’s best interests. Keeping a journal of your child’s activities can be a great way to reinforce this theme. Other evidence you should have includes doctor appointments, telephone calls, pick up and drop off schedules, and other activities the child is involved in.