Getting full custody of a child is very rare for a father. According to the United States Census Bureau, only 17.5% of custodial parents are fathers. However, that does not mean fathers can’t succeed in this endeavour. Most courts do not discriminate against dads, but they still tend to prioritise a mother’s connection to the kids when they are caught in the middle of a divorce or separation. The process of gaining full custody is challenging for fathers but doable.
Suppose you are a father wanting full or partial custody of a child in Riverside, California. In that case, you must do everything to prepare for the legal battle ahead of you. You can get the results you hope for by pleading the best case for custody with the assistance of experienced riverside attorneys.
Make a Viable Plan
Following are some of the questions that a judge might ask;
- How are your finances?
- Do you seek partial or full custody?
- How is your communication with the child’s mother?
- Do you have a prior custodial arrangement with the other parent that works?
You need to give thought to these issues and prepare your answers beforehand. Be honest and thorough in your responses.
Ask for Advice from other Parents
Speak to the parents that have already been through a child custody process. They may offer some valuable insight and tell you what to expect.
Take an Interest in your Child’s Life
Every caring parent takes care of a child’s basic monetary and practical needs. However, the court looks favourably towards the parent with a more meaningful relationship with the child. You may feel a deep parental connection with your child, but the court wants an objective expression of it.
- Talk to your child’s teachers and get to know them.
- Help your child with homework.
- Coach a sports team, organise birthday parties and sleepovers.
- Get to know your child’s best friends and offer your wisdom from time to time.
These are some ways to become an active part of your child’s life and show your care.
Pay Child Support
Do not stop paying for child support when petitioning the court for full or partial custody. It will count in your favour to have a good track record. Keep the receipts, cheques, and other documents as evidence of consistent financial support.
Keep a Record of your Visits
Visitation records clearly show how often you see your child under a prior arrangement. They evidentially demonstrate your commitment to the kids, as well as your reliability. If you and your ex-partner have a prior parenting plan, stick to it. However, if your ex-partner does not honour the agreement or keep your kids from you, record such instances too.
Create Adequate Living Space for your Child
The court gives a lot of focus to the appropriate living accommodations you provide for your child. Even if you live in a small house or apartment, make sure to create a special place for the child. The judge will look favourably on your application if you;
- Consistently stay at your residence
- Have a bed for the child, not a mattress or a couch
- Make your home secure for the child
Be ready to address all these issues in your hearings. It is considerably more complicated for fathers to succeed in child custody than mothers, but it is possible. Be steadfast and loving. Keep your child’s welfare in your mind and make the judge see your parental concerns. That’s how you will win custody.