If you have served time behind bars, you might struggle to get custody of your children once you are released. Here are a few tips to strengthen your custody case in such a situation.

Understand What Is Required Of You

Your first step is to understand what is required of you so that you can do it. States have dedicated agencies that are responsible for removing and uniting children with their parents (these agencies are typically called Child Protective Service). Start by paying the agency a visit so that you can understand the specifics of what you need to do.

Apart from contacting the relevant agency, it's also best to contact a child custody lawyer. The lawyer will evaluate the circumstances of your situation and advise you on what to do to improve your chances of success. An experienced lawyer will draw on their experience, education, and analysis of similar cases to help you.

Avoid Further Crime

You also need to do everything possible to avoid further crime. This is because crime is one of the factors that affect child custody. A crime-filled environment is deemed dangerous to a child's welfare, and the child's welfare is the premier determinant of custody. This is true of all forms of crimes, but violent, sexual, or crimes against children are the worst. Therefore, stay away from crime even if it means facing financial difficulties the hard way or staying away from your former friends.

Attend Parenting Classes

Parenting classes are where you learn to take care of your children. Although courts sometimes order parents to take these classes, anyone can take them. Taking parenting classes can bolster your custody battle in two main ways. First, the classes do contain valuable information that can help you become a better parent. This is particularly true if you have been behind bars for a long time and you didn't spend much time with your child before incarceration secondly, attending the parenting classes signals to the relevant agencies and even the court that you seriously want to become a better parent to your child.

Don't Be Late For Visits and Appointments

Lastly, you may be allowed to visit with your child while still fighting for custody. Don't be late for these visits. Being late not only disappoints the child, but it also shows to the relevant authorities your insincerity of being a better parent. Also, if there are any appointments with the court or Child Protection Agency, arrive in time if you want the authorities to respect your wishes.

For more help, contact a legal firm like Souders Law Group.