Child custody battles are no joke when it comes to emotional endurance because they can often be very intense and grueling. Due to this, fathers enduring a child custody battle need all the pointers and tips they can get. If you’re going through this process soon, use the advice below to help your case. You and your children deserve the best outcome.
Keep Your Own Records
When you go to court with an ex-spouse for child custody, the judge will look for documentation demonstrating your involvement in your kid’s life. Do not rely on anyone else to keep these records; they are your responsibility. To show your participation, document any parenting plans, visits you’ve attended and the schedule, and anything else that shows your presence in the child’s life. The more you document your encounters with your child, the stronger your case will be.
Try Mediation First
Child custody battles don’t always require a court and judge. If you and your ex-partner can sit down through mediation and come to terms over what your custody will look like, you can skip the hard part of going through court. A third-party mediator may be able to negotiate terms for your case, plus this process is more flexible and allows the parents to come to their own terms if they can get along.
Develop a Stronger Relationship With Your Child
Going through a custody battle isn’t just hard on the parents; it’s also hard on the children. Reassure your child that nothing about your relationship will change—let your kids know you plan on building a stronger relationship with them to support them through this process. Continue to attend birthday parties, sporting events, school events, etc., to support your child and show the courts you don’t plan to leave their life.
Think Like a Lawyer
Father’s rights in Washington and many other states are often equal to the mother, yet you still need to put in the work to win the custody battle or arrangement. You cannot rely on your attorney to do all the work for you, so you must think like a lawyer. For example, understand that any social media posts, emails, or texts can be evidence in a court of law, so be mindful of what you’re posting online and sending via text.
Always Lead With Respect
As a father in a child custody battle, it’s no secret that the process is stressful, time-consuming, and costs a lot of money. It’s easy to be quick to anger or denial, but that place you in a good light to the judge. Always lead with respect when you’re in hearings or meetings with attorneys—if you can keep a level head and a great attitude, the courts will see this and note it, which is beneficial to your case.
Our children are our world, and we would do anything to ensure they live happy and healthy lives. As their father, use these pointers to better your stance in the custody battle. Remember, don’t lose hope, and don’t give up on them or yourself. You got this, dad!