The dynamics of child custody litigation have shifted significantly from the time when mothers had absolute rights of custody in child custody suits. In this day and age, both men and women can have full time jobs, be paid well, and at the same time get parental leave when they have a baby. In an effort to get a more favorable outcome, here are five things a father should consider when contesting for custody.
What do courts look for in such matters?
Today, the courts are more concerned about the welfare of the child and what is in the child’s best interest. Your goal should be to convince the court of your capacity to provide a much better living environment for the child than the mother. The court will look to see whether you have the capacity and a history of stable employment as well as providing proper care in a nurturing environment for the child. The court will also want to confirm that you will not prevent the other parent from enjoying their visitation rights.
How strong is your relationship with the child?
Having a strong, loving relationship with your child is a major element that the court will consider in determining custody. The judge may question older children about the home environment as well as which parent they would prefer to live with. While the child’s testimony may not be dispositive, you stand a better chance of gaining custody if you have a strong positive relationship with your child.
Be composed and have the interests of the child as your only priority
It is critical to maintain your composure at all times, no matter how high or emotional the proceedings might be. Do not let your temper take control over you as this might reflect a negative side of you to the court, something that could work against you. Also, do not deviate from the topic of interest and venture into irrelevant topics. Stick to the main agenda and do your best to prove to the court that whichever way the case is decided, the child’s wellbeing will always be of utmost importance to you.
Keep proper and up to date documentation
Maintaining current legal documents is one of the smartest things you can do in your bid to win custody of your child. Every notable event or financial need should be meticulously recorded and corroborated. Even if you take the child for an adventure or on a fun tour, make certain that you have the same on paper to prove your concern and parental attention for the child.
Improve your parenting skills and responsibilities
The court might require you to prove your parenting skills and abilities. Therefore, be prepared to demonstrate appealing skills in areas of educating, understanding, mentoring and your ability to discipline the child. Aim to prove to the court that not only are you able as a father, but that you also have an emotional attachment to the child, and can easily realize when something is amiss.
Having observed the aspects above, you stand a better chance of winning the custody battle. With the right understanding of father’s rights, you will be able to approach the case in a more informed manner.