A custody battle for fathers can be unfair.
These are the tips our attorneys use to win a custody battle for fathers.
Some of these can give you an unfair advantage.
And NOT doing some of these tips means you can lose custody.
Read through them all and make sure you wrap your head around them.
Let’s dig in.
Custody battles can be devastating. It’s heartbreaking when parents lose custody of their children. Spouses end up having to pay agonizing amounts of financial support.
If you want to protect your rights, not wrongfully lose custody, and not get raked over the coals financially, fill out the form below. Free consultations are first come first serve. We always run out of slots. Make sure you get yours locked in now.
Negotiations can help avoid an expensive and drawn-out custody battle for fathers.
You won’t want to do this.
But you should sit down with the mother and try to negotiate a parenting plan.
You can avoid a very expensive custody battle if you both can come to a parenting agreement on:
A parenting agreement is really what the custody battle is all about.
At the end of the custody battle, the attorneys will submit the parenting plan.
If you and your ex can come to an agreement, you can avoid a very costly custody battle for fathers.
Out of the list from above, chose the top 3 things that are important to you.
Negotiate to win on THOSE items.
Use the remaining items as ‘what you’re willing to give up on.’
This will allow your spouse to get what they want so that you can get what you want.
Talk to your divorce lawyer about what’s most important to you so they are on the same page.
Related: Reasons a Judge Will Change Custody
It’s sad, but important, that you need to showcase you are an involved father.
Leading up to, and during, a custody battle for fathers, you should show up to everything.
This means showing up to the child’s:
What’s also important here is that you get involved with the people leading these.
This means building a relationship with the:
The goal here is to make other people aware that you are an involved parent in your child’s life.
During a custody battle for fathers, the judges want to see that the father is an integral part of the child’s life.
The judge doesn’t care if your mom gives you a good reference when you’re fighting for custody of a child.
But if you can get references from sources in your community, this can be a big help.
References can come from people involved in community programs like:
Anyone that can give a recommendation about your character and parenting can get used as a reference.
You can have them write affidavits for you for a custody battle for fathers.
An affidavit is a written statement of fact voluntarily made by someone.
Once you have these, give them to your divorce lawyer so that they can submit them to the courts.
Something a lot of parents won’t or don’t take into consideration is their capacity.
Realistically, can you juggle being a single parent and:
If you’re trying to figure out how to get full custody, think it through.
Make sure that you can handle this responsibility.
Make sure you can realistically manage to do everything on your own.
When fighting for custody of a child, come up with a game plan on how to handle all this.
The judge will ask you, so it’s important to have a well-thought-out answer.
During a custody battle for fathers, the judges will ask probing questions.
They want to make sure that if you win custody that you can handle it.
A judge will expect you to be prepared if you win child custody.
A judge is going to ask you about:
Also, keep in mind the current custody arrangement your child has.
If the current custody arrangement is working well, the judge won’t want to change it.
If you are trying to get full custody, you’ll have to have a compelling reason why it’s in the child’s best interests.
Make sure that you have an answer to the questions listed above.
And make sure that your answers are not focused on you.
They need to be focused on how they will benefit the child.
One out of every six custodial parents is the father.
To increase the percentage of fathers who get custody, involvement is a big deal.
Involvement is something that you should not fake.
But, unfortunately for the children, some parents do.
If you are fighting for custody for fathers, you need to be an involved father.
This doesn’t mean showing up out of obligation or when it’s convenient.
It means caring about your children and showing up in their lives.
Being involved means things like:
Here’s the sad part. You will need to document your involvement.
This could be in the form of:
Whatever you do, you want proof of it.
Otherwise, it’s your word against the other parent’s.
Child support and child custody are separate issues.
So, why would you want to keep up with child support during a custody battle for fathers?
Whether you have full custody or joint custody, keep making your child support payments.
If there is an informal agreement, keep receipts of your payments.
This can be in the form of Google Pay, Apple Pay, or check receipts.
Good documentation is very important here.
If you have to make child support payments, that’s your responsibility to the child.
If you’re not making them, the judge will take that into account.
It will negatively influence your chances of getting custody.
Losing a custody battle for fathers over untracked visitations is possible.
Imagine you’ve shown up every single time to see your child.
You’ve done everything right.
But when you’re in front of the judge, your ex tells them that you never show up for visitation.
Where’s your proof?
Have you shown up?
How would the judge know whether they are lying or not?
It’s important to keep an accurate visitation schedule record to help win child custody.
You can keep accurate records by developing and maintaining a parenting plan.
Submit your parenting plan with the courts during the child custody battle.
Other ways to keep up with child custody visitation are:
The date and time stamps are very important for evidence in court.
The judge is going to want to see that you have created a space for your child during a child custody battle for fathers.
The court is going to ask about whether you have adequate living accommodations.
They will be making sure that your child has:
You’ll need to be able to provide evidence to prove that all these issues are addressed.
As weird as it sounds, they will want photos of your home during a custody case.
This can be one of the more difficult parts of child custody battles.
You need to treat your child’s other parent with respect.
This is because how you treat the co-parent gets used to determine custody for fathers.
Being rude or disrespectful to the other parent affects your child.
But it also affects your ability to get custody.
When you treat your co-parent with disrespect, your children see that.
This can turn into parental alienation.
The judges are going to side with the parent who is a victim of parental alienation.
You need to do everything you can to be respectful to the other parent.
Even if they are being a challenge to work with during a custody battle.
Related: Questions to Ask A Divorce Lawyer
Children have a say in custody when they turn 14 years old.
But even if the child is not 14 years old, the judge will still ask them what they want.
Most parents make custody decisions without taking into account what the children want.
You’re probably thinking it’s ridiculous to ask a child what they want in such an important decision.
But what if the judge is going to ask them anyway?
You and your ex should TRY to accommodate what the children want.
If you two can come to an agreement that considers what the kids want, the judge is more likely to approve it.
Allow them to share their thoughts without trying to convince them.
Use this information to draft your custody request.
It shows the judge that you listened to your children and care about their thoughts and feelings.
Related: Emergency Custody
Child custody mediation is a great solution for parents who cannot come to an agreement on their own.
In child custody mediation, a neutral third party will help the parents come to an agreement.
This keeps the parents from having to go to court for a child custody battle.
This can save you thousands of dollars in legal fees.
Mediation provides a way to solve differences without having to go to court.
At the end of child custody mediation, the parents have reached an agreement or they are deadlocked.
Related: Legal Reasons for Divorce
During custody battles for fathers, the other parent is seeking ways to make you look bad.
This is why it’s critical to keep your emotions in check during a child custody battle for fathers.
Judges take note of emotional reactions from parents during the legal proceedings.
The judges won’t inform anyone of how this affects the final decision.
But if they are taking note of it, it makes a difference in their decisions.
Related: Spousal Abandonment
Your children are having a tough enough time with the child custody battle.
They are having to move out of their home.
Their parents split up.
There is a ton of turmoil in their house.
They usually don’t know what’s going on.
A lot of times, they even blame themselves.
Your children should not be used during a child custody battle.
It’s your responsibility as a parent to shield them when fighting for custody of a child.
Even if your ex is treating you terribly, do not speak badly about them in front of your children.
This can cause parental alienation during a custody battle.
Feeding your children negative information about your ex can only hurt your chances of winning custody.
Related: Family Law Attorney Payment Plans
Sadly, winning a child custody battle depends on who can spend more on legal fees.
No, we’re not saying this out of bias.
If one parent can heavily outspend the other parent, they have a better chance of winning.
Some parents don’t care what’s fair to the child in a custody battle.
They will refinance their house, sell investments, and get loans just to beat their ex.
If you’re headed into a child custody battle for fathers, please save up money.
The more money you have, the better your chances of winning child custody are.
You don’t want to be the parent who runs out of money when fighting for custody of a child.
Related: How Long Does A Divorce Take
When you are fighting for child custody for fathers, it’s important not to trust anyone.
It seems harsh, but it’s better to be aware.
You might feel safe texting your mom about your situation.
But your ex’s lawyer can subpoena your text messages.
When this happens, it doesn’t matter that your mom was trustworthy.
The courts will get access to your conversations regardless.
Make sure that you do not leave any digital evidence anywhere.
That includes emails, DMs, texts, voicemails, or social media posts.
Let’s assume that you were ‘smart’ and you only spoke to your mother in privacy.
The courts can still subpoena your mother to testify.
When she takes the oath in court, it’s illegal for her to lie about anything you tell her.
This is why you should ONLY talk to your attorney about any issues you are having.
Related: Legal Separation
This one is very important.
Let’s say you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on joint custody for the child.
Most likely, you will get ordered by the courts to attend child custody mediation.
But let’s assume that didn’t work either.
When this happens, the child custody battle goes in front of the judge for the final decision.
This means that the judge will make a decision about how to split custody.
I can tell you now that you won’t like the outcome.
The judge will decide EVERYTHING for you.
They will do what’s in the best interest of the child.
They will not take into account whether you like the outcome or not.
You may not get custody.
You may only get 2 days a week with your child.
You may not get holidays with your child.
Your ex may be able to move out of state with your child.
No matter what happens, the judge’s decision is a court order.
You have to follow it or you are breaking the law.
So, it’s important that you and your spouse work together to come up with a child custody agreement that works for both of you.
Related: Filing for Divorce
Children who are 14 years old can decide who they want to live with.
We have seen parents spend tens of thousands of dollars coming up with a parenting plan.
Only to get in front of the judge and they ask the child what they want.
A lot of times, the judge cares more about the children’s wishes than the parents.
This is because they want to disrupt the child’s life as little as possible.
It’s important to take your child’s wishes into consideration.
This does not mean asking them and then trying to convince them to go another route.
It means asking them and genuinely trying to make it happen even if you don’t like it.
Related: Spousal Abandonment
How to win a child custody battle for fathers can boil down to who is better suited to take care of the child.
This is why it’s important to have a solid plan on how you can take care of your child’s needs.
The judge is going to ask you about this.
They want to know about:
Parents who have a solid plan articulated have easier times during the custody battles for fathers.
Related: Divorce Statistics
You need to be showing a commitment to supporting your child’s life.
This includes showing up to events like:
Every parent has their own struggles with making it to everything.
It’s hard to pull off.
But showing up shows your children you care about their lives.
You’re supporting them and their interests.
You’re showing up.
Regardless of whether you’re fighting for custody of a child or not, this is a good habit to have.
The judge takes into account how much the parent shows up during a custody battle for fathers.
If your ex shows up to everything, but you show up to nothing, how do you think that looks?
The judge won’t care how busy you are.
They care about what’s in the best interests of the child.
Related: Last Will and Testament
Your earnings are going to get exposed during the divorce process.
You might as well embrace this and lean into it.
If you make substantially more money than your ex, this can be good during a custody battle for fathers.
You and your lawyer can build a strong case for how you can adequately provide for your child’s:
Just know that your financials are a double-edged sword.
Yes, you will have to provide your ex with more financial support.
But this would happen anyways.
This makes a custody battle for fathers a perfect time to discuss their earning power.
It’s in the child’s best interests to live with a parent who can effortlessly afford a better standard of living.
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This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.
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