For a father, custody can be difficult to win, even though the courts do not discriminate against dads. Whether you are a father going for full custody or joint custody, you should be prepared for a difficult child custody battle, especially if the child's mother is also filing for custody. Consider the following tips to help a father get custody.
Fathers' Child Custody Tips
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Pay Child Support Payments
A father who wants custody of a child should continue to make regular child support payments. If a father has an informal arrangement with the child’s mother, he should maintain records such as check receipts or a written letter from the child’s mother as to the child support arrangements and what's been given thus far. If a father is struggling with child support payments, request a modification, but if a father is able to make the payments, he should ensure he has a good track record of... making payments.
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Build a Strong Relationship
When a child is not in the father’s custody, fathers should call the child frequently and check in on the child’s day. A father may also stop by the child’s school and introduce himself to the administration. A father should check on a child’s progress often and ensure the child knows that he’s there to offer any assistance necessary.
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Attend Important School and Social Gatherings
It’s important for a father who wants custody to attend the child’s social, educational, religious and other important events as evidence of a continuing relationship with the child. Examples of important events are school plays, baptisms, birthday parties and sporting events. A court will rely on this attendance as evidence of a meaningful relationship.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Prepare a Space For Your Child in Your Home
Even if a father lives in a small space, he should make a special place in his home for the child. A court will inquire about adequate living accommodations during all hearings for child custody. Fathers should be prepared to respond to the judge’s inquiry regarding housing plans.
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Have a Plan
A judge will expect a father to be prepared for child custody, in case child custody is awarded. Fathers should compile intelligent responses to potential questions that are asked by a judge. For example, a judge will ask questions about living accommodations, the child's education including after-school activities and financial preparedness.
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A father who wants custody of a child should remember to always respect the mother of his child. The way a father treats the mother of his child may be a factor in determining child custody. Fathers who are disrespectful or rude to the child's mother will also affect the child, along with the father's chances of obtaining child custody.
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Be Honest With Yourself
A father who wants custody of a child should realistically ask himself what he can handle. It's a fact that many fathers may have other responsibilities such as other children or multiple jobs. Multiple responsibilities may affect a father's ability to assume custody of a child, especially full custody.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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When In Doubt, Ask Someone Wiser Than You
A father who wants custody of a child should speak to others who have been through the child custody process. A father who has been through the child custody process can offer insight and let a father who is going through the process know what to expect.
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Consider Mediation or Arbitration
A father who wants custody of a child should consider mediation or arbitration, prior to undergoing an adversarial court hearing. In mediation or arbitration, cases are decided by a neutral third party. For a father, custody proceedings in a courtroom may be difficult to handle, so he may prefer the smaller, friendlier setting associated with mediation or arbitration.