Last Updated: December 9, 2022
Several recent court cases have focused media attention on a father’s equal custody rights. Though courts may not discriminate against fathers, it has traditionally been difficult for fathers to win custody of their children. If the mother is also filing for custody, a long and difficult battle usually follows. However, with the help of a father’s rights lawyer (free consultation here!), this situation can be much less stressful, and victory can be possible.
Father’s Rights to Custody
Father’s rights lawyers are a specialty set of family law attorneys that can help fathers win full or joint custody of children. While the lawyer is preparing the custody petition, the father should continue doing everything that puts him in a positive light. This includes continuing to make regular child support payments, if they have been ordered, because this speaks to his character. The father should adhere to the child visitation schedule (parenting plan) and call the child regularly when the child is not in his custody. Building a strong relationship with the child and being aware of how the youngster is doing in school shows that the father cares. Father’s rights are more than just winning in court, it involves doing the right thing for your children.
Parenting Plan for Father’s Rights
The parenting plan (also known as a “custody Judgment” or “Allocation Judgment”) is a detailed plan that dictates who gets the kids when and who gets to make certain decisions for the kids. The parenting plan that father’s should propose should include visitation ties and dates, decision making abilities for medical, school, and extracurricular activities. Many courts want a proposal submitted to the court prior to the custody hearing. Parenting plans are the end result of a father’s rights custody battle and the goal is to get joint custody (and in some cases, sole custody).
Factors for a Father to Win Custody
There are numerous factors that every parent needs to be aware of when a custody battle is going to take place. However, because of past biases against men, father’s need to be even more ‘on the ball’ with making sure only positive things can be said about them. For this reason, it is essential that anyone considering a father’s rights custody case begin examining their life and making necessary changes immediately.
Factors for Custody Decisions
Among the many factors that go into a court ordered decision on child custody, the main focus is on the best interests of the child. This is a standard set of factors that every state uses. Although many states slightly alter what exactly they think is most important, some factors that are used in every state to determine the best interests of the child are the following:
- Stability of Home Environment
- Does the child have a stable living situation or is a parent constantly moving or being evicted? Is there a separate bedroom and is there food in the fridge? This is essential – stability.
- Past and Current Child Rearing
- Many times, one parent has done the majority of child rearing. Sometimes this is because one parent works and the other parent doesn’t. Dads need to do extra work – coach a team, get to the recitals, and attend PTA meetings. Be present and make sure it is documented – and start right now!
- Emotional Ties between Child and Parent
- Is there a good relationship between parent and child? Even if it isn’t perfect (it never is!), this is an area for father’s to step up and prove. Get a therapist involved and show that you are working with your child in therapy to continue to develop and foster a healthy relationship with him/her.
Father’s Need to Do Work (and prove it)
Fathers should note their attendance at religious, educational, and social events in which their children take part. School plays, birthday parties, and sporting events are a few examples. By attending these events, a father shows that he has a meaningful relationship with his child and proves that he deserves the fathers’ rights he is in court to defend. One of the best way to show involvement is taking the child to doctors appointments and coaching a team sport.
Fathers should prepare space for their children within the home. The judge will ask about housing accommodations and plans to handle transportation to and from school and after-school activities. Fathers should have a plan for each day and present this to the court. They should be fully aware of the responsibilities that custody entails.
Be Respectful to Mom
Though it may be difficult at times, a father petitioning for custody should remain respectful of the mother of the child. His treatment of the mother can be a factor in determining custody. If the father treats the mother in a rude or disrespectful way, this affects the child. A judge recognizes this and considers it when making a fathers rights custody decision. Judges in almost all states want the parents to get along enough to cooperate on child rearing activities. For this reason, they expect parents to continue to foster a healthy relationship between the child and the other parent. If a parent does not do this, a judge will absolutely look negatively on that parent.
It is never too late to fight for your father’s rights to custody of a child. By developing his relationship with his children, preparing living space in the home, and creating a parenting plan, a father increases the chance of a desirable outcome. More fathers are being awarded custody now than ever in history, enabling them to create a lifetime of memories. Fight for your father’s rights today–don’t give up, your children are depending on you, and get a free consultation here to get started.