The child custody checklist

Posted in Divorce.

THE CHILD CUSTODY CHECKLIST

by

Dr. Barry Bricklin and Dr. Gail Elliot

Dr. Bricklin and Dr. Elliot are nationally-known child custody experts. They have written many publications offering help and guidance for mothers, fathers, and grandparents involved in child custody issues.  Their publications can be found at http://www.custodylibrary.com

There are many items to think about and consider as you prepare to get involved, or re-involved, in any custody dispute. This list will help you better organize these items. It has been prepared using all of the training and experience of our 35 years in the field as Custody Evaluators, Expert Witnesses, Authors, and Consultants in Custody Cases all over the United States.

Dr. Barry Bricklin and Dr. Gail Elliot

(Their biographies are included following the Checklist)   

 THE CHILD CUSTODY CHECKLIST

Hire the right lawyer, with the right experience, knowledge and training. We have found–during our 35 years in the field—that hiring the correct lawyer is the most important action that you can take. Without the right lawyer nothing seems to work out as well—no matter how much work you put into your case.

Get recommendations for the right lawyer. (From your family lawyer, friends, bar association, etc.)

Make a list of the other person’s weaknesses. The other person is usually your spouse or former spouse, but may be grandparents, foster parents, siblings, or even the State.

 Make a list of the other person’s strengths. This is really important, it is too easy to concentrate on the other person’s weaknesses and what they do wrong–here we want you to list what they do right.

Make a list of your strengths.

Make a list of your weaknesses. Be honest. Only you and your lawyer will see the list.

List the strengths in your present position from the view of the judge: job, economics, help from parents, etc.

List the strengths of the other person in his or her present position.

Decide if you should be the first to initiate the suit.

Decide if you should try to settle-the case.

Write out a Draft Custody Plan. List everything that you want as if you will be able to get everything that you want—you won’t get everything but making this list is a good start.

Make a list of the negotiable points in your Draft Custody Plan:

Decide if you should start negotiating with the other person.

Make a list of your bargaining chips.

Decide if you should work out a temporary custody plan with the other person.

Find out what criteria your family court looks at when awarding custody.

Find out if your judge has specific prejudices. (Blond hair, women or men, successful women, athletic looking men, etc.)

Find out if the other person is using alienating strategies.

If the other person is using alienating strategies, put into effect a plan to counteract these strategies.

Decide if the other person may make false allegations in court. What would they be?

Decide how to refute any false allegations.

Make a list of witnesses that you have to refute potential allegations. 

Write down, for each witness, how they should dress and act in court.

Decide how you should act in court.

Choose the clothes you will wear in court.

Decide if this is the right time to start dating.

Decide if this is the right time to move in with your new significant other.

Make a list of the marital assets.

Include in the list when each asset came into the marriage.

Include how each asset came into the marriage.

Calculate how much insurance is in-force that would go to you and your child.

Calculate how much insurance you and your child actually need.

Medical coverage?

Write down the education plans for your child and yourself

Make a list of your future potential earnings.

Think about what could happen to

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  3. Divorce & child custody – what is a 730 evaluation?
  4. How fathers win child custody
  5. Is sole custody the best option