Primary custody isn't always granted to mothers automatically, and fathers have every right to fight for this. With the right divorce attorney and facts to back this up, you can gain primary or at least balanced custody of your children. Here are four things that you can do as a dad to help put yourself in the best light in court:
1. Walk the Walk
Make sure that you are currently bonding and spending time with your children. The worst thing that you can do is seek custody just to make things hard on your ex-spouse. If you are already spending time bonding with your children, make sure to document this and highlight this in court.
If you haven't been spending enough time with your children because you have been wrapped up in your divorce, your ex-spouse might bring this up as a strike against your parenting skills.
2. Highlight the Well-being of Your Children
If your children will be in better care with you, this must be showcased. Your documentation doesn't need to be completely about discrediting your ex-spouse. Bring some positive aspects as to why you would be a better suited primary care parent, things such as your neighborhood's safety, good schools, and a stable home environment can all be brought to the table. Be sure to get all of your ducks in a row before you get to court.
3. Don't Bring Your Girlfriend
Court can be stressful, and you might need some emotional support. If you have moved on from your ex-spouse and are dating, don't bring your new girlfriend to court. This will make you come off as fickle and not focused on your current situation involving your ex-spouse and children.
4. Fight for Quality Time
If a joint custody agreement will most likely be met, fighting for the best custody times is key. If you are working full time or might not be in the same town as your ex-spouse, fight for visitation that works for you. Don't end up with an agreement where you spend all of your limited time with your kids driving them to and from visitation. If you can come in prepared with these options, the judge will take you seriously.
If you are fighting for your right to primary or at least a balanced custody agreement, it is important to work closely with your divorce lawyer on strategy. These days, more and more dads are granted custody of their children, so don't be discouraged before you even get to court. Fighting for primary custody when the reasoning is valid is your job as a parent.
Contact a professional family law company to learn more and ask questions.