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What the “better parent standard” means for a child custody case

On Behalf of | Nov 30, 2020 | Divorce |

When parents in Wisconsin begin the divorce process, they are likely to face the challenge of fighting for sole custody of their children. It is during this time that the courts will ask each parent to present proof that they are the best parent for the child, known as the “better parent standard.” Read on to learn what the term means and how you can begin to demonstrate to the courts your argument.

The burden of proof

The better parent standard is the burden of proof that the court places on the parent who is fighting for sole custody of their child. This is vastly different from negotiation for joint custody as you are asking the courts to prevent the other parent from caring for their children after the divorce. You essentially have to convince the court that you are the “better parent.”

How do courts choose?

Most state courts will decide who gets sole custody of the child based on the child’s best interest. Not only does the court have to see you as the better parent, but they will also need to be convinced that the child benefits more from staying with one parent than having both parents involved in his or her life.

How can a parent prove that they are the better parent?

It is important to avoid bad-mouthing the other parent. It does not paint you or them in a good light, so your job of proving yourself as the better parent becomes more difficult. What you should do is provide documented proof of your claims as the better parent. This may include past criminal evidence that shows that the child may be in danger, proof of income and proof of an effective educational plan, to name a few.

Even if you have all the proof needed, it is important to consult with a professional attorney who is experienced in custody battles. This may place you in a better position to see your wishes granted by the court.