Go back a couple of decades and you rarely heard of a father winning a custody case. Today, that is no longer true for a variety of reasons. Today’s fathers have a much better chance of winning. In fact, they may find they are on even terms with women in today’s divorce battles. Why? Because most homes consist of two working parents and both parents will have to continue to work after the divorce. This evens things out dramatically and more fathers than ever are finding their children at home to greet them when they come home from work.
All things being equal, there are several factors that will decide which parent is awarded custody. Let’s look at some of these factors to see how you stand in your case:
1. Work Schedule – the parent that is awarded the children needs to be able to prove they can be there for the children. This does not mean you cannot work, but it does mean that you cannot be a workaholic with a nanny that raises the children. If you are working 60-70 hour workweeks, you need to find a way to cut that back prior to your case going to trial. You need to spend quality time with the kids every day.
2. Quality Time w/ Your Children – if you are out of the home and the wife has custody during the divorce proceedings, you need to be able to point to how much quality time you are able to spend with the children during your visitation times. Are you just taking them home and turning on the TV or are you doing homework with them and taking them to the park to play? Remember, the children will be interviewed at some point during the proceedings, so you need to make your time with them counts and leaves an impression if you want to win custody.
3. Avoid Confrontation and Defamation – a common mistake many parents make during the course of the divorce is creating confrontation during the pickup or drop off the children. Parents have also been known to say inappropriate things about the other parent to the children in an effort to sway the children’s opinion in his or her favor. You really need to take the high road here. Do not give the mother any ammunition to use against you in court. Nor do you need the children to tell the court the bad thing daddy has been saying about mommy. Document the incident, inform your attorney, and simply walk away.