Unfortunately, not all divorces involving child custody and visitation rights go smoothly, with both parents receiving equal or fair time with the children. If your soon to be ex-spouse is trying to keep the children away from you or severely limit how much time you spend with them, you are going to need to hire a lawyer experienced in family law.
He or she will work to show the judge spending time with you is not going to harm the children in any way and is actually in their best interest. There are a few simple things you can do to prove your case:
Learn Small Things About the Children
Anytime you are with the children, pay attention to everything they do or say. If the children are older, you can ask them about school, friends, and the things they like to do. If the children are younger, pay attention to what makes them laugh, how they play, and bathroom habits.
Knowing how often a toddler needs a diaper change, what book your preteen is reading and who your teenager hangs out with shows you are interested in them. It also gives you something to talk about or do with them that they enjoy and keeps them on the same type of routine.
Get Involved in School
If your children are school aged, make sure you know what schools, what rooms and who their teachers are. Go to the schools' websites and print out a calendar of upcoming events. Make sure you attend the events. Talk to the children beforehand to find out how/if they are participating in the event and ask if there is anything you can do to help out. This is a great way to learn more about the kids while creating good connections with the teachers and other parents. If necessary, these connections can be used to prove your case.
Learn to Cook, Do Laundry and Sew
Having kids around a lot means preparing meals, doing laundry and the occasional seam sewing. Sure, you could take them to restaurants all the time, or cook up some hotdogs and noodles, but eventually the money will run out and the kids are going to need real meals. Being able to do laundry and sew any small tears is important for keeping them in clothes while with you. They are going to get dirty, and you don't want them going to the other parent looking all disheveled.
Shared custody and visitation means you are going to have to care for the children completely on your own at times. You can't just be the parent that takes them out to the park or some event and then drops them off with the other parent. You need to be involved and able to take care of every aspect of their lives. The more you do forand with them, the more they will want to be with you and the more time the court will award you.
Contact a family law attorney for help with any questions or concerns you have.