It is no secret that mothers tend to get custody of the children in a divorce. After all, women are often the primary caregivers. Even mothers who work outside the home are the ones who are often coordinating their children’s care.
While some men are hands-on fathers or even primary caretakers, many are not. They may spend their free time playing video games or hanging out with friends instead of doing activities with their children.
However, not all stereotypes are true. Not all mothers care for their children. Some are unfit, subjecting their children to abuse and neglect. Conversely, some fathers are wonderful with their children, coaching their sports teams and transporting them to school.
In a child custody case, both parents start off on equal ground. If a father wants primary custody of his children, he will need to prove that he is the better parent and that it is in the child’s best interest to be with their father. Here are some tips for getting custody.
Requesting child custody is not an easy process for fathers. This is one area where mothers are favored over men. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you get started. Contact a lawyer and ask for their advice. Talk to men who have fought for child custody and won.
Build a Strong Relationship
Fathers often fail to build good relationships with their children. They fail to keep in contact with them and discuss important things with them. Parenthood is a lot of work. As a father, you need to care about your kids, even when they are not with you. Call or text them frequently. Ask them about school. Show interest in their hobbies. Take them places and engage in activities with them. Let them know that you are there for them and will support them if needed.
Attend Important Events
It will be hard for a court to grant you custody if you cannot even remember your child’s birthday or be bothered to show up for his sporting events. Kids want their parents to be there for them at important events. Whether your child is graduating middle school, starring in the school play or getting an award, make sure you are there to support them. If you are always a no-show, then good luck getting custody.
Pay Child Support
Another good thing you can do to show the court that you care about your child’s welfare. You can do this by paying child support. Some fathers refuse to pay it because they seek revenge on the mother. However, if you fail to pay up, you are showing the court that you do not care about your children. Do not give that impression. Make regular payments. If you can not afford to do so, communicate with the mother and the court. Request a modification to see if your payments can be reduced. Do not simply ignore your obligation, as it can have legal consequences as well.
The court will be hesitant to award custody to a father who is rude to his ex-spouse. It is better to take the high road and be amicable toward her. If you model respectful behavior, the court will see that you are trying to be a good influence on your children. If you badmouth the mother and call her names, you request for custody will likely be denied.
Provide Safety and Stability
The court wants to see that you can keep your children safe. If you cannot keep a job or suffer from addiction or substance abuse issues, then you will not be given custody. The same applies to a father who neglects his children or has a criminal history. The court strives to focus on the best interests of the children, so they want the children to be with the parent who provides the most stability. That person could be you if you can prove what a good father you can be.
Have a Plan
Many fathers have good intentions, but no plans in place. Do not just say that you will be a good father—show it. Where will your children live? Do you have a place for them in your home? Will you be able to take them to school? What about after-school activities? Can you afford to pay for their basic needs? The court wants to see that you have planned for child custody and you are not simply trying to seek custody solely to seek revenge on the mother. They want to see that you have thought about what it takes and that you are willing to make it happen.
Seek Legal Help
In child custody battles, courts make decisions based on the best interests of the children. As a father, you need to prove that your children will thrive when in your care. You have to make your children a priority.
If you are interested in getting custody of your children, seek legal help from Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. We are knowledgeable of all the elements involved in a divorce, including child custody, and can help you get the best outcome possible. Schedule a consultation with our office today. Fill out the online form or call (954) 346-6464.