Fighting for Custody – Using the Status Quo Angle

Fighting for Custody – Using the Status Quo Angle

This article examines the initial stages where you discuss your case with your lawyer and then delves into the realms of status quo and continuation. Courts are not bound by the law to maintain the status quo and keep everything the same for a child. However, they will favor what the child knows and is used to, and that fact may help or harm your case. If you are looking for help with your family law cases, then find the paperwork you need right here

The Evaluation of the Custody Case

If you have a child custody lawyer, then that person will sit down with you and discuss these matters with you:

Yours and your lawyer’s thoughts on the future for the child and his or her best interests. This isn’t always as simple as it seems, especially when more than one parent wants access to the child. 

A history of each parent’s relationship with the child in question. Though you have to fight your case, you still need to discuss all involvement with your lawyer, even if the other parent has had more access than you. 

A detailed understanding needs to be achieved regarding the child and issues surrounding the child. This includes general welfare, the child’s health and health issues, child safety and your child’s education. 

Any evidence of neglect or abuse. You need to give a full rundown of all the factors surrounding the petition that was made. Holding information back from your own lawyer will not help you in the long run. 

An evaluation of the current status quo. As you will read in the next section, the status quo is very important when going forwards and when making your case. 

The Status Quo, Visitation, and Custody

Courts are not obliged to go by the status quo, but their guidelines say that they should try to maintain whatever the child is used to (aka maintain some sort of status quo). That is why foster parents do not talk a different language, or why the courts do not move kids to completely different states.

There are two ways that the status quo is fought. The first is where the parent who has custody claims that keeping things the way they are, aka maintaining the status quo, is the best for the child. Otherwise, a parent who doesn’t have custody will argue that the status quo is bad and that things need to change.

The courts are looking to continue what works for the child and stop any of the stuff they perceive to be bad for the child. The law doesn’t state that courts should continue whatever the parents have been doing. Courts are interested in stability and continuity. Courts try to avoid disruption to the child as much as possible. 

The status quo is taken into account with regards to custody and visitation. For example, if a family member has visited frequently with the child, then convincing the courts to stop such visitations may be difficult, especially if the other party fights to maintain the contact. 

A Modification Request

If you are given a modification request, it is important that you find a way to incorporate it into your life. For example, if they say that your child cannot attend a certain business, then you need to show how you can ensure it doesn’t happen while the child is in your custody.

If there is another party involved, like another family member or parent who wants custody, then that person will try to show that a change is needed to create the modification. For example, if the child cannot enter a certain business, the other party can claim that the child will not be able to reach the business from their location. 

Non-Custodial Parents Need to Fight Harder

The law is not supposed to show favoritism, yet maintaining the status quo means that the current custodial parents have the biggest advantage. There are only two situations where this is not the case. The first is where the current status quo was supposed to be temporary, such as if there was only a temporary absence such as if one parent was sick, homeless, or incarcerated.

The other exception where status quo is ignored is if one parent or guardian is taking military service. Obviously, it would be unfair to give the status quo advantage to one parent when the other was out protecting America and its interests. In such a case, the custodial parent will have to fight just as hard as the parent who is in the military. The military exception is especially strong if there is joint custody. For example, if the military parent had 50/50 custody and then returns from active duty and wants the restart the 50/50 custody, there are very few occasions where the military person will lose a court case (no matter what sort of mud the other parent slings in court). 

Child Preference 

Since 2012, child preference has played a big part in custody cases. However, there is no clear rule. A child can easily be coerced into favoring one parent, and it is up to a social worker team, and maybe even the judge, to consider how influential the child’s preference is. After all, a child doesn’t know what is bad for his or her, and May wish to stay with one parent simply because that parent allows his or her to do whatever he or she likes. 

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