Mother Nature and the Family Court: Why Local Parks Might Help Your Custody Case.
We’ve been blogging about schools, crime rates, and other ways to compare one neighborhood with another. In judging what’s in the best interest of a child in a custody case, a judge is often required to compare the mother’s home and community environment with the father’s.
Another consideration is the access to parks and recreational facilities. How close do your children live to the nearest park, lake, baseball field, or nature preserve? Is your home surrounded by waterways where the children can go swimming or boating? Are there organized sports in the neighborhood? Trails for walking and hiking? Bike paths? Public recreational facilities?
Because a judge sits in a courtroom and may never even meet your child, he or she may never get to know that your child likes to run, hike, play basketball, swim or go canoeing. In building your child custody case, however, it is important to emphasize the child’s recreational interests and to show how your community provides the greater access to parks and recreational facilities. If you have several children who routinely play together, it is important to develop evidence of how they play, where they play, and what they play. For example, the court might want to think twice before relocating two brothers who spend every free moment playing tennis at the local park. Their fraternal connection, their love of the sport, and their physical proximity to the park all contribute to a picture of stability and continuity that the court may wish to encourage.
Mother Nature is held in high esteem in the Family Court. Good, healthy recreational activities are positive influences on child development. Exposing children to such outdoor activities in a safe natural environment will score a few extra points in promoting your role as a parent in a child custody case.