- Thorough preparation is essential to streamline your custody case.
- Putting the child’s best interests first will allow you to block out the noise and focus on what’s important.
- Cases involving alcohol abuse will need sufficient preparation with an alcohol monitoring system.
Table of contents:
- Using the New Available Technology
- Communicating Openly with Your Client
- Understanding the Importance of the Child’s Best Interests
- Being Prepared When Substance Abuse Is Involved
- Suggesting Other Resources as Needed
Custody battles can get ugly with endless litigation and emotions running high. But even in less-complicated custody cases, it still takes months of back-and-forth to develop a co-parenting arrangement that works for everyone. Who gets custody? How much parenting time is appropriate? Is 50-50 split custody in the best interest of the child?
Navigating these details is crucial for a custody arrangement that supports the kids. The lengthy process, however, may take an emotional toll on everyone involved. In fact, children caught in the middle of parental conflict are more likely to struggle with mental health issues and behavior problems.
This calls for a need to streamline custody cases and clear up any issues to quickly come up with a settlement that puts the kids’ interests first.
Using New Available Technology
When working with multiple clients on different custody cases, it might get overwhelming for Family Law Practitioners. From organizing cases to communicating with clients — there’s a lot that can slow down litigation.
Technology can help streamline cases by allowing professionals to keep track of each case’s key details. Use a Family Law management tool to standardize information collection, stay on top of court dates, and keep tabs on important tasks and deadlines. Some tools even allow lawyers to proactively share information with parents and seamlessly collaborate with all parties.
Communicating Openly with Your Client
Communication is critical for a successful custody arrangement. The client needs to openly share with their lawyers any crucial details that may affect a court’s decision. This could be anything from their struggles with substance abuse to their financial situation. The goal is to prevent these critical pieces of information from popping up when least expected, potentially delaying a ruling.
Similarly, lawyers should be open about any risks and issues to prepare the client fully. Even if they believe that the client’s objective doesn’t align with the child’s best interests, it’s an ethical responsibility to say so. The goal is for both lawyers and clients to share vital information openly, so communication and transparency remain strong.
Understanding the Importance of the Child’s Best Interests
While every custody case is unique, they all share one common goal — upholding the best interests of the child. Every state requires judges to rule in favor of the minor, causing them to consider the following factors:
- Relationship between each co-parent
- Co-parent’s ability to provide a safe and secure living situation
- Child’s mental and physical needs
- Co-parent’s mental and physical health
- Any history of domestic or substance abuse
Being Prepared When Substance Abuse is Involved
Custody cases involving substance abuse can be particularly complicated. Allegations of alcohol abuse, whether hearsay or proven, can have an impact on custody decisions. If the court finds sufficient proof of a parent’s alcohol abuse, it may be less inclined to provide custody to said parent and may even put restrictions on parenting time.
In custody and alcohol cases, Family Law Practitioners are expected to disprove the client’s alcohol abuse allegations if they are unfounded. Or, if there’s truth to the accusation, be prepared to present evidence that they’re serious about getting sober.
Fortunately, practitioners can implement Soberlink into cases where a court is requesting documented proof of sobriety for co-parents accused of alcohol abuse. The remote alcohol monitoring system allows lawyers to monitor a client’s alcohol consumption in real-time through wirelessly transmitted test results. If a test indicates a drinking event, co-parents or Family Law Professionals can swiftly intervene to assess the situation and ensure the child’s safety. Moreover, Soberlink devices combine facial recognition, tamper detection, and Advanced Reporting capabilities allowing for court-admissible proof that a client is sober.
While custody cases can be a tedious process, there are plenty of ways to streamline cases and lessen the negative impact on kids. Implement technology where it makes sense, but keep the focus on upholding the child’s best interests.
If the case involves allegations of alcohol abuse, use a remote alcohol monitoring system like Soberlink to collect evidence of your client’s sobriety.
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