If you are trying to win custody of your child, there are a few things you should consider. Whether you’re in the midst of a custody battle in family court or your child has been taken by Child Protective Services, these tricks will help tip the scale in your favor. Remember, there are no guarantees. The final decision will always be determined by the judge.

You’ll want to learn the basics of child custody before proceeding. Hiring a family law attorney is of the utmost importance—this is the best place to start. Your lawyer will advocate on your behalf. And they have the necessary expertise to fight for you in the courtroom. The basics of child custody aren’t really all that basic at all. With that being said, your lawyer will provide legal advice and explain the ins and outs of the court system to you in layman’s terms. Legal jargon can be confusing for anyone, no need to worry.

Custody battles are known for getting a bit heated. You’ll fare better if you are willing to negotiate terms with your ex. You don’t have to like your ex, but remaining amicable is in the best interest of the child. There have been cases where parents lost custody entirely after demonstrating an unwillingness to compromise with the other party. This is where mediation comes into play. A professional mediator will act as a neutral third-party. They sit down with you and your ex and assist in calmly resolving disputes.

Sometimes, the resolution is joint custody. If you’re satisfied with that outcome, all the better. If not, don’t worry too much. You can always file for an appeal. If domestic abuse took place around your child, your attorney and mediator need to know. Similarly, if your child was abused by the other party, this has to be made known in court.

The judge will ensure your child is in good health before awarding custody to either party. Don’t miss any upcoming appointments with the pediatrician. Make sure your child is well-fed and take advantage of vitamins for kids. Hiya Health vitamins are made for children, from real food. They take “18 organic fruits and vegetables fresh from farms and blend them into super-powered chewables in just the right amount,” as stated on their website. They are sugar-free and only contain natural sweeteners. The essentials are included, too, such as magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, and calcium. Giving your child one of these every day will show your devotion to improving your little one’s health. They are stronger, cleaner, and tastier than any other brand on the market.

You already know how to parent, but taking parenting classes proves your dedication to the judge. If you’re aiming to be your child’s sole guardian, you may want to find local classes to enroll in. The court will also send someone to inspect your home. They need to be sure your house falls under the criteria of appropriate living conditions. Something else to think about: Is your home within the same school district your child has been attending? The judge will take this into consideration.

There are a few final tips to keep in mind. Being agreeable to visitation will shine a better light on you. Depending on your state’s law, your child may be old enough to speak in court. They can tell the judge their wishes, such as who they want to reside with. Your child’s opinion matters. Lastly, gather evidence and witnesses just in case the proceedings move to trial.

In a trial, witnesses can speak on your behalf—touching on your ability to parent. Documenting every time your ex cancels a visit, doesn’t show, or shows up late can be used as evidence. Winning custody of your child can be overwhelming. Taking all of these steps will guarantee you’re doing everything you can in your situation. Try to stay calm and pride yourself on doing everything that you can.