The key thing to think about when you are going to court in relation to your child is to focus your thoughts and attention on what is in your child’s best interests.

So many parents take their eye off the ball and allow themselves to be wound up and irritated by their ex partner, to the point that stop thinking consistently about their child.

We are all human and easily distracted when our love life and our children’s lives are placed in a state of turmoil.

When your emotions are still raw it takes very little to hijack our focus and disturb our equilibrium.

Sometimes just seeing your ex partner can trigger off a whole load of toxic feelings imbued with such intense emotions that you remain in battle mode for weeks or months.

Very frequently what recently separated couples demonstrate is a marked proclivity to blame the other parent for all the things that have and are going wrong currently.

Blaming your ex for your current position however is an unhelpful exercise that rarely if ever brings about useful change.

What it is harder to do but absolutely vital to your court success and even more importantly your mental well being; is to begin to accept your responsibility in what lead to the relationship breakdown and what you can now do to make your child/ren’s lives better.

You need to let go of blaming altogether and devote your attention to how you can help your child deal with the distress they are probably feeling.

If you show the court and the Cafcass Officer that you are totally focussed on what is in your child’s best interests; irrespective of your views about your ex partner, you are far more likely to receive a positive assessment and consequently far more likely to win your case.

I would say that what’s vital is that you show congruency throughout, such that you demonstrate a consistent picture via your behaviour at court, whilst writing your statement and during any interviews with the Cafcass Officer.

Your presentation both physically and personally is also essential here.

Do not for example make the Cafcass Officers life more difficult than it needs to be.

You may not realise it but it is a very difficult job; it will not harm your chances of success to smile and be personable.

In addition, it’s a good idea when being interviewed by the Cafcass Officer to ask questions about anything you are unsure about that exemplify your capacity to keep your child’s interests at the forefront of your mind.

If you refrain from putting your ex down and consistently think and act congruently concerning meeting your child’s needs, you will give yourself the best possible chance of being successful at court, providing of course that your proposals are clearly in their best interests and you are not seen as posing any harm to your child.