Wondering how to win child custody for fathers? There are a few tips we recommend, highlighted below.
Being awarded child custody as a father depends on a huge range of factors, many of which are directly in the father’s control. Courts award joint or primary custody to fathers they feel can adequately provide for, nurture and actively raise their child. Fathers able to demonstrate their capacity to handle the responsibility of a child in these areas can strengthen their case and provide the type of evidence the court actively looks for.
So, while no dad can be guaranteed to get more frequent parenting time or primary custody, they can appear more worthy by following through with certain actions. As you prepare for your case with a Georgia child custody lawyer, you can use the following 8 child custody hearing tips to demonstrate how you are a great father to your child in highly visible ways.
Courts look to their own records to gauge how responsibly a father acts. Paying court-ordered child support per your agreement on time and in full is therefore one of the most effective ways to cultivate a track record of positive past behaviors.
Not only does paying your support on time demonstrate responsibility and an ability to provide, but it also helps ensure your child doesn’t want for material needs the mother cannot provide on her own.
If you have issues making your payments based on the agreed-upon child support arrangement, request a modification directly through the court. Also, keep track of payments sent through check receipts, written letters or emails that can provide documentation of a concrete date and amount paid.
Record every visit with your child in a log or a calendar. This document provides evidence both of day-to-day interactions and of overall frequency of visitation. Instead of making vague assertions about how much time the father spends with a child, they can pinpoint exactly how many days and hours they spent together during each and every visit.
Every child deserves the privacy and comfort of their own personal space. Ideally, the child will have a permanent room at the father’s house filled with some of their own belongings. For fathers living on a property with limited space, a suitable alternative living arrangement can still be made that gives the child somewhere special to call their own.
The court will likely ask about how adequate the living accommodations are for the child at their father’s house during child custody hearings, so the father should be prepared to respond by listing specifics on the child’s living space and overall comforts available.
A great way for fathers to demonstrate that they have a continuing, meaningful relationship with their child is to spend time with the child outside of normal visitation days. By attending sports games, social events, school plays, religious occasions, parent meetings and other important events in the child’s life, the father can stay actively engaged with their child and be present alongside the mother during critical milestones in the child’s life.
A father’s behavior in situations can influence how people see their suitability for custody. If the father is rude or combative with the mother, for instance, the father’s presence may be seen as affecting the well being of the child negatively. For this reason, fathers should always be respectful and patient with the mother of their child, especially when the child is present.
Likewise, the father should take care to be a positive presence during interactions with other figures in the child’s life.
When petitioning for custody, a father should know exactly what sort of arrangement would benefit the child better than the current arrangement does.
For instance, if the father wants additional visitation, he or his Georgia child custody lawyer should have an alternative to the current custody arrangement or a parenting plan ready. This document describes how often the father wants to see the child compared to how often they have custody now. Or, if the father wants primary custody, they should have an alternative plan ready suggesting how often the child would see the mother.
Having a specific plan in mind can help the court more precisely gauge whether the new custody arrangement would benefit the well being of the child.
Not every child custody case needs to go to a court hearing. Fathers also have the option to mediate, which involves negotiation for custody between parents with a third party present. They can also submit to arbitration, where a neutral third party determines a ruling based on the parent’s wishes. Arbitration and mediation can be less intimidating and less time consuming for both fathers and their children when it comes to custody cases.
Family Matters Law Group can assist you with assembling evidence of your relationship with your children, draw up an alternative to the current custody plan, and handle the general proceedings of your child custody case.
If you need help seeing your child more often or seeking primary custody, call the telephone number you see below or use the simple contact form to hear from an experienced and licensed family law attorney about your own custody case. We also specialize in helping who gets pet custody in divorce.