Both parents have equal rights to their child, but you may face more challenges in gaining child custody as a father fighting a custody case. Separation and divorce are usually tough on everyone, children in particular. The decision made by a judge on a custody hearing is usually based on the best interests of the children. For this reason, you need to ensure that as a parent, you can fulfill both the child’s emotional and physical needs.
Most of the time, the judge ensures that the child can maintain a close relationship with both parents, and only in extreme cases where substance abuse or child abuse is involved does the judge award full custody to the best-fitting parent.
As much as it may sound easy to win a custody case, historically, fathers have always had a hard time winning custody battles. However, this does not necessarily mean that winning is impossible. With properly formulated plans, a father can win full custody of their child if need be.
Below are a few points to help fathers be effectively prepared for a child custody case.
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How Can a Father Battle Child Custody?
1. Make Sure to Pay Your Child Support
Ensure you stay up to date with your child support payments if you want a chance to win custody of your child. Failure to stay current with these payments can be seen as a lack of capability or willingness to be responsible for your child.
In case you are informally making contributions, these payments are equal to what child support covers, and therefore you need to keep a record of such transactions. However, if you are struggling to meet the payment requirements for your child support, you can petition for a modification.
2. Create Space in Your Home for Your Child
Regardless of whether you have won child custody, you need to demonstrate that you can host a child. Even if your living space is small, ensure to spare some space in your home for your child to fit into; you may need to prove to the court that you can accommodate your child.
3. Be Well Prepared
Stay up to speed with your child’s affairs. A judge could test whether you look after the child by asking you about the child’s schooling, interests, and daily after-school activities. Prepare to answer critical questions about your child, which will demonstrate that you can handle being a responsible parent by putting your child’s best interests first.
4. Strengthen the Relationship Between You and Your Child
Separation may not be easy for your child as many children cherish being with both their parents. Be supportive of your child and maintain an active relationship. Ensure to visit and call whenever possible. This will enable your child to feel secure with you by realizing that you are there to support them.
Additionally, make sure you attend your child’s social events. Be present for sporting events, birthdays, and school meetings and activities. The judge will interpret this as evidence of a meaningful relationship between you and your child.
5. Talk to Parents Who Have Faced the Same Before
Ask other fathers who have been through a custody battle before about their experiences to prepare yourself better. The insight you get will help you determine what you can expect from the whole process.
A child custody case is never easy, especially because you never know what to expect. Applying these tips will give you a better chance of winning. Remember, planning is key; it ensures you are adequately prepared.