You can get custody of your children back after losing them in a divorce settlement, but often it is not an easy process to complete. As a rule, the courts do not take away custody lightly, so you must be prepared for a battle to get them back.
The first thing you absolutely need is a lawyer. An attorney will be able to look at your case, see why you custody was removed, and how you can get reacquire custody. Your lawyer will be your first defense in the fight for custody and you should not even consider attempting to get your children back without legal representation. If you are in a situation where finances are making it impossible for you to hire counsel, you can request that an attorney be provided for you by the courts – allowing you to have proper representation.
Take a Good Look at Your Situation
Why did you lose custody? Was it alcohol or drugs? Was it abuse? Have you taken steps to remedy whatever situation you were in that caused you to lose custody in the first place? Your attorney will likely hire a professional to evaluate you and the situation, and this documentation can be used in court to show that whatever the issue was, it is no longer applicable to your situation.
Listen to Your Attorney
Whatever advice your attorney gives you, be prepared to follow. If there are classes that you should take, you will need to attend them. Any changes that need to be made – make them! If there are hearings that you need to attend, attend them. If you have a custody agreement in place, follow it to the letter of the law. Return your children on time when you have them, and abide by all restrictions that may have been placed on you, such as supervised visits. This shows the courts that you are serious about getting your children back and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen.
Be Prepared to Accept the Terms Given
If you are fighting for sole custody, you may have to initially settle for shared legal custody. Any visitation that occurs, whether visitation is with you or your ex-spouse, should be considered an opportunity to prove to the courts that you should have custody. Going from visitation only to full custody is not something that happens often, and you will need to make a strong case as to why you should be awarded the children. Remember that any judgment can be appealed, so if you are unsuccessful in your first try you need to discuss with your attorney where you might have gone wrong and how you can correct it to gain a more positive outcome the next time.