How Do You Make a Child Custody Claim? 

If you are looking to make a child custody claim, the process is a bit more complicated than you may think. Fortunately, there are a number of resources to help you out. These include attorneys, the court, and self-help centers. There are even some online tools that will help you get started. 

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The first step is to file a Complaint for Custody (CC-DR-004) in the Circuit Court where your child lives. You must also pay a filing fee. If you do not have the money for the fee, ask the clerk for a free copy of the forms. 

A Judge will take a look at your case and decide if you should be awarded custody of your children. The decision is based on what is in the best interests of the child. The court will consider a number of factors including your parenting skills and your living arrangements. 

For example, a young child might be awarded custody to the primary caregiver. Older kids might be given custody to the parent who can foster continuity in their religious life or neighborhood. Aside from the obvious, judges also consider issues such as domestic violence. In the event that the parents are in conflict, the courts will consider their abilities to provide a stable environment. 

In addition to physical and legal custody, courts usually award one or both parents “visitation” or “visitation time.” Generally speaking, the court will not deny a parent the right to visit their child because of a physical disability, minority lifestyle, or sexual orientation. In the long run, the courts want to promote stability for children’s custody arrangements. 

The best way to start a child custody claim is to speak to an attorney. A lawyer can ensure that the proper documentation is done and help you prepare for a successful trial. However, if you are a pro se litigant, you can still take your case to the courthouse. 

There are many resources that can help you prepare for your upcoming trial. You can start by talking with your lawyer and research the relevant laws of your jurisdiction. You can also check out the Case Information Portal, which can provide you with an overview of a variety of pending cases. Some states provide an easy to use search tool to find relevant articles, court rulings, and court statistics. 

The best thing to do is to keep a cool head. You might be tempted to say something rude or use bad language, but you should avoid doing so. If you cannot control your emotions, you could end up making the situation worse. 

The other logical way to start a child custody claim is by visiting the local self-help center or family law facilitator. There are many free services to help you with this, and you should have no problem finding a practitioner near you. You can even make the most of the situation by hiring a forensic expert to help you evaluate your case.