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Take your attorney's advice in order to get primary custody

If you're trying to get primary custody of your children, there's really no secret to what it takes to get the court to lean your direction:

-- Put in the right amount of parenting time. The goal in any custody situation is to keep things stable for the children. If you have been a "hands off" parent that doesn't know your kids' school schedule, hasn't met their doctor and doesn't know their friends, you're not in a good position to get primary custody.

-- Don't abuse alcohol or drugs. Divorce can be depressing, but this isn't the time to indulge in substance abuse if you want primary custody. Even casual drug use can endanger your chances of custody, and one drunk driving incident can destroy your chances altogether.

-- Keep your emotions in check. Now is a great time to find a therapist if you need to rant and rave about the injustices your spouse is handing you. It's absolutely the wrong time to take to social media to complain, leave voice messages where you yell in frustration or pass angry messages along through the kids. You don't want to give the judge any reason to think that you're emotionally unstable or abusive.

-- Put your "game face" on and keep it on. You can't afford to lose your temper in front of the judge, the court-appointed counselor, the kids' teachers or any social workers that are involved. Stay calm and stay focused on your children's needs. That sort of response will only help you, while an angry outburst can stick in the minds of those making custody recommendations and make you seem immature and unable to make your children the priority.

-- Finally, listen to your attorney. Statistics indicate that fathers get primary custody 50 percent of the time. That means that you stand an equal shot of winning -- or losing -- custody, no matter what your gender. However, that may mean some short-term sacrifices on your part. If your attorney tells you to forgo dating for now, do it. If your attorney says to put off that vacation you really want for a while, do it. There will be plenty of time for those things after your custody issue is settled.

For more information on how our firm approaches custody disputes and how we can help you with yours, please visit our page.

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