Whether you filed for divorce of your own volition or got served with paperwork because your spouse was the one to file, there may already be a temporary custody order that remains effective while your divorce is in progress.

For some people, requesting changes to that temporary order can be important, especially if they anticipate a protracted divorce. For most other parents, the primary custody focus will be on securing a positive outcome in the final divorce decree. What are some ways that you can increase your chances of a good outcome in your custody proceedings?

Put your best foot forward in court and at divorce-related meetings

It is easy to let your emotions get the best of you during a divorce, especially if your ex wants to fight over every little thing. Losing your temper or making aggressive demands in court or in the presence of divorce professionals could tarnish the way that the courts view you.

Additionally, constantly fighting with your ex or refusing to work with them can make judges concerned that you may not cooperate with your ex if you wind up sharing custody.

Focus on what’s best for the kids, not just on what you want

The Minnesota family courts try to read custody determinations that uphold the best interests of the children. Many times, those best interests involve getting to spend plenty of time with both parents.

If you make claims to the court about what your kids need or the outcome you’d prefer, it’s important that the focus of your statement is on what is best for the kids, not what you personally prefer or desire. When you make it clear that the kids come first, that will help convince the courts that you are a dedicated parent.

Be willing to accept criticism, and remember that nothing is permanent

There are circumstances in which the courts may determine that you need to take certain steps in order to fully share custody with your ex. Parenting classes, counseling or even substance abuse therapy may all be necessary in the eyes of the court.

Even if you don’t agree with their recommendations, fulfilling the obligations they set for you will show that you are willing to do the work necessary to preserve your relationship with your children. Completing those requirements or suggestions can also give you grounds to request a modification that will result in more parenting time for you.