Divorce can be a complicated, emotional time. If your former spouse filed for divorce without your foreknowledge, it could have been quite a shock. One day, you're at home with your family. The next, your family or you are moving out, and you can only see your children on alternating weekends and one night a week.
On top of that, you're expected to pay child support. Everything happens very quickly, and it can leave non-custodial parents feeling frustrated. Working with an experienced divorce attorney to gain custody of your kids is your best option if you want to have or full custody.
Ideally, you and your former spouse could reach an agreement on custody via mediation. Sadly, that isn't always likely to happen. Your attorney can help you determine the best way to argue to the courts that you deserve custody. Depending on the circumstances, there are a variety of ways an attorney can help. One of the ways you can help yourself in a divorce with a custody dispute is to pay your child support on time.
Paying child support shows you can provide for your children
When you pay your child support in full and on time, it shows the courts that you are willing and able to provide for their needs. Conversely, refusing to pay can make it look like you are unable to care for your children. No matter how frustrated you feel about your current custody and visitation situation, you should pay your support as ordered by the courts. If you believe the amount is too high, your attorney can help review your finances and the state child support formula to determine if requesting a hearing to adjust the amount is in your best interests.
In the meantime, you should continue to pay your child support as ordered by the courts. Child support orders, even temporary support orders for during the divorce proceedings, are court orders. You are legally bound to comply with them.
Failing to pay your child support can put you in a legally vulnerable position. The courts could engage in enforcement actions that include garnishing your wages, seizing your tax return or even issuing a warrant for your arrest. Not only could that cause problems for you socially and professionally, but it also won't help your custody case when you're in court.
An attorney can assist you in work for custody of your children
Even if your spouse has temporary custody during the divorce, it is your right as a parent to ask for partial or full custody. Your attorney can help you gather evidence, prepare testimony and otherwise get ready to show the courts why you should be granted full or partial custody. Working with an attorney provides the best chances of a positive outcome to a contentious divorce.