During the divorce process, fathers commonly worry about whether they will be able to spend enough time with their children.
Learning more about the logistics of child custody disputes can help fathers prepare strategically. Here are five things that you should know about this important area of family law.
1. Do not assume that mothers always get custody
Many men worry that courts automatically grant full custody to a child’s mother. In reality, courts closely consider a variety of factors when hearing petitions for full custody.
2. Request as much parenting time as possible
Initiating custody proceedings by seeking as much time with your children as you can manage may be advantageous. Generally speaking, you may have an easier time modifying a custody agreement to give your former spouse more parenting time than you would by petitioning a court to get more parenting time for yourself.
3. Keep child support and spousal support out of custody hearings
In custody battles, parents need to make clear that their primary objective is caring for their children and spending time with them. Conflating custody issues with financial matters before a court could represent a red flag.
4. Seek a suitable living situation
In custody hearings, courts will ask for detailed information about the location and size of your home. If you will be moving after your divorce, seeking out a living situation will be a good environment for your children.
5. Try to work cooperatively
Whenever possible, try to practice good communication with your spouse. Cooperating can make custody disputes much easier to navigate.
When courts rule on custody, they are not trying to side with either parent. Their goal is to serve children’s best interests.