No, this is not about Brittany Spears, but it is about how courts determine custody arrangements between two parents who cannot agree.

The legal determination that a court must make is what is in the best interest of the child. This gives the court a lot of power and each custody case is different because each child and each set of parents are different. If you want to know how to lose custody—read all about Brittany.

If you’d like to improve your chances of having a lot of time to spend with your child or children, try everything you can to co-operate with the other parent and NEVER speak badly about that person when your child is around.

When these things do not work, the court will want to know about your rules for the child. No rules—no primary custody. Your job is to parent your child, not be her/his best friend. Along these same lines, the court will want to know how often you meet with the teacher, take your kid to the doctor and dentist, and how many activities and sports events you attend.

The court will also want to know if your schedule will help your child maintain his/her activities and friends, or whether it disrupt the child’s schedule. The court will want to talk with your child, but not to find out where the kid wants to live, but rather what kind of kid this is and how happy/unhappy this child is as a result of having to go to court because the parents can’t reach an agreement.

Helpful witnesses for you would be people who have seen you interact together and have no bias. Your mother will always lie for you. Teachers, coaches, neighbors and therapists will not. 

The best way to win a custody battle is to stay out of court.  One day your child will be old enough to decide what she/he wants to do every weekend. That’s when fairness, love and compromise pay off!