When you're divorcing your children's mother, it is hard for you at the end of a relationship, but it's also difficult because of the risk of losing time with your children. Though the courts are not allowed to be biased toward mothers, the reality is that men are often seen as less capable of caring for their children than women.
To make sure you get the custody time you want, it's important that you present yourself as a great parent in court. If you and your spouse have to go to the judge for help with a parenting plan or schedule, you'll want to have evidence of your excellence as a parent. Some things you'll want to show include:
- How often you spend time with your children
- How well you know your children and their routines
- How involved you are in their schooling
- How involved you are in daily care
- Positive interactions with other parents and your children's friends
- A respectful attitude toward your spouse, despite your separation and eventual divorce
Overall, your attitude will play a major role in how a judge views you. You want to do a few things when the day of a trial comes, including:
- Preparing statements from witnesses of your character or having witnesses come to court to speak
- Arriving to court on time (or early) to show that you are responsible and invested in this situation
- Dressing appropriately for court, showing that you can follow rules and take care of yourself well
- Being respectful of the judge and the others involved in the case as they speak
Fathers are not any less capable of caring for their children, but with a long history of granting primary custody to mothers, it's no wonder that fathers are nervous about going to court over custody today. However, today's judges are not allowed to base custody decisions on your gender. To do so would be discrimination.
Your attorney will work with you from the first day of your divorce to help you prepare if you want to seek custody of your children. Whether you'd like 50-50 shared custody or are seeking sole custody due to the actions of your children's mother, it's important that you get the right advice throughout the process. This is one of the most important times in your life, so having someone on your side to support you with good information is the key to success.