Divorces are painful in and of themselves, but they can get exponentially more painful and complicated when both parents want sole custody of their children. Even though courts don’t discriminate against dads anymore, winning a custody battle can be more difficult for the father than it is for the mother.
Fathers who choose to fight for the custody of their kids should be prepared to face a tough phase that tests them emotionally and psychologically. This is why the following custody tips for dads that can be helpful in increasing the chances of gaining custody of their children.
Often, even when you have been a great husband and father, societal beliefs can still be against you. In a custody battle, these beliefs can torpedo your chances of becoming a full-time single dad. Men are often left at the wrong side of a custody battle even when they have a spotless history and have been the perfect family man all along.
5 custody tips for dads that could help fathers get custody of their children.
Times are changing fast, gender gaps are filling, and family lawyers for men are trying to defy stigmas in the court and help fathers win full custody of their kids. If you are about to go through a seemingly difficult custody battle, consider these five custody tips for dads that can help fathers win full custody of their children.
1. Get (More) Involved in Your Children’s Lives.
Child custody attorneys for men always suggest fathers be completely involved in their children’s lives if they want to win custody. Be an active parent who attends school meetings, picks the kids up from school, brings the kids to doctor’s appointments, attends sports games, and so on. This way, all the professionals around your children – doctors, caregivers, coaches, teachers – know about your involvement in your children’s lives.
You can never be too available for your kids. Spending time with them doing things that matter to their overall well-being will not only strengthen your case for winning custody, it will also help you solidify the bond with your children. Be a father who will continue to make the time and sacrifices necessary to build a strong relationship with his children.
2. Keep Accurate Records.
Document everything you say and do right from the time you decide to part ways with your spouse. Without proof, you will not be able to make a point about the unfair behavior of your spouse with the kids. Keep pieces of evidence handy for these types of situations.
Family lawyers for men advise fathers to keep a detailed log of when they visit their children, what they do, and how much financial assistance they provide their partner. If you have agreed on an informal parenting plan with your spouse, maintain records of how you follow it and capture accurate visitation times and happenings.
This documentation will help you build your case against your spouse and will work as evidence of your involvement and willingness to be included in your children’s lives.
3. Don’t be Miserly with Your Money.
If you earn more money than your spouse, there’s no reason to hide it from your family lawyer. Your higher earning power means you are in a better position to provide for your kids.
Build a strong case using your higher earnings – prove how you intend to provide for your children’s education, healthcare, and all other needs. Even though it might not feel comfortable, this is the perfect time to discuss your substantial financial resources. It is in your children’s best interest to live with a parent who can effortlessly afford a better standard of living for them.
4. Gather Great References.
Prove that you are a good parent – not only through your own words but also through other people’s opinions about you. Have your relatives, friends, colleagues, and any other important acquaintances write affidavits for you, explaining your nature and personality. Encourage your friends and family members to express how effective of a parent they think you are. These references will make a strong point for you in court, establishing credibility to the fact that you are a good parent.
You should also gather references from your children’s teachers, coaches, neighbors, church group leaders, and so on. Any judge will feel inclined to go by the evidence and not by the spoken word when they have to make a decision about a child’s future.
5. Be Steadfast and Single-Minded from the Start.
Be prepared to fight for what you want when it comes to custody and visitation rights. Get the most time you can from the very beginning and be clear about your goals – in this case, winning full custody of your children.
Demonstrate to the court that you understand your children’s needs and routines and that you are willing and able to care for them in every possible way. Don’t settle for a temporary schedule, because you might lose touch with your children and they might get in the habit of living without you.
Map the visitation schedule in a calendar to get an in-depth grasp of what it would actually look like. How many days do your children go without seeing you in one stretch? This is something you want to worry about. Don’t let your children learn how to live without you.
Choose the Right Family Lawyer
A key aspect of winning child custody battle is your family law attorney. Pick a family lawyer who works especially for men, understands their needs and works hard to bring outcomes in their favor.
A family lawyer who supports fathers’ rights will go the extra mile to make sure they give a tough fight; often, they will win the case. Know that you are dealing with a system that has favored mothers for decades, and find a lawyer who understands where you are coming from,
In this case, you might also want to look at a lawyer’s experience with fighting and winning child custody battles for fathers. Ask potential lawyers about their approach with your case and determine whether they are as passionate about your goal as you. A good lawyer is educated and able to provide custody tips for dads that can help you win your case.
Brad Micklin is the lead family attorney in Montclair, NJ and managing member at The Micklin Law Group, LLC. For more than 20 years, he has helped men through some of the toughest, most emotional experiences in their lives, including high conflict divorces and child custody battles. www.micklinlawgroup.com