Declaring bankruptcy is a troubling period in your life, but not one that has to continuously define you. Whether it's a year or 10 years since you had to declare bankruptcy due to financial hardship, you shouldn't be surprised to hear your ex-spouse bring this topic up during a custody hearing. If your ex wants full custody of your children following a divorce, he or she may argue that your past financial history makes you an unfit parent — and could even make the emotional argument that the children you have together could suffer because of your financial situation. Here are some points that you can make to counter such an argument in an effort to get joint custody of your kids.
Your Recent Financial History Has Been Strong
An effective way to set the court's mind at ease about your past issue with bankruptcy and how your financial situation today might impact your children in the coming months and years is to show evidence that your recent financial history has been strong. Your family attorney will ask for a variety of pieces of evidence to support this claim. For example, you could demonstrate with an employment record that you've held a steady job for several years, and a credit report could indicate that you've slowly been rebuilding your credit since you declared bankruptcy.
You've Received Financial Management Training
You can also show yourself to be financially responsible by demonstrating to the court that you've undergone successful financial management training since you had to declare bankruptcy. This training could come in several different forms. Perhaps you enrolled at a local community college and took a course about managing your own finances, or maybe you took a program of this nature online. Proof that you completed this course can go a long way toward showing the judge of your custody hearing that your past bankruptcy is no longer a concern.
You've Been Financially Responsible With Your Children
Regardless of what personal financial issues are in your history, you should make a compelling argument that you've been financially responsible with your kids over the last several years. There are many ways that you can support this claim, including providing financial statements that you examples of the purchases you've made for your children. This could include grocery bills, costs for sports and extra-curricular activities, family vacations, and more. Your child custody attorney may also discuss other ways that you can effectively convince the court of your strong financial standing.