Fathers and CustodyWhen couples get divorced, many wives request temporary orders for child custody. If approved by the court, this allows them to retain custody of their children while the divorce is in process. Wives who initiate their divorces may file these orders with their divorce petitions, enabling them to receive custody within a few days and until the court hearing regarding the divorce. Divorcing fathers may wish to see their children during this time.

A father’s rights in divorce include having input regarding temporary child custody orders. Parents should try to agree on the custody arrangements included in the temporary orders. If fathers want visitation time with their kids while a temporary order is in place, they should include this in writing on the order. A family law attorney can help them document their requests in the correct manner.

If the mother of the children does not agree with the father’s request, the father and his attorney should file a motion requesting the court to determine who will receive custody and/or visitation while the divorce is in process. This can be an emotional situation and if a father is not knowledgeable regarding relevant laws, he may unknowingly sacrifice some of his rights, so using a lawyer is recommended.

Once the temporary order is finalized and approved by the court, both parents are legally bound to it. This means that the mother of the children cannot keep the children from the father if the order says he is to receive visitation. Violation of the temporary order should be brought to the attention of the court, which will then step in and levy punishment or revise the order.

When the divorce concludes, the court will approve a final order regarding child custody. A father should ensure that this document reflects his wishes because it is difficult to revise an approved final order. A dad’s rights in divorce are equal to a mom’s rights so if fathers want custody rather than visitation, they should request it. Their attorneys can help them prepare strong cases that illustrate their caregiving abilities.

Once a final child custody order is issued, a father must file a motion with the court if he wants to have it revised. Getting a court agreement to alter the order requires proving that a substantial and unanticipated change has occurred since the order was issued. This can be very difficult to do, so fathers in this situation should have family law attorneys help them make this argument.

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