It is often the case that fathers believe that they are at a disadvantage during a custody case. On one hand, they may be the breadwinners for their families and be actively involved in supporting their children, but on the other, they may not be the primary caregiver in the home.
Fortunately, today’s court systems largely believe that both parents should be present in their children’s lives so long as they are positive influences and providing the care and attention their children need. The likelihood of a father losing custody or getting less than he wants just because he’s the father is much lower than it has been historically.
If you’re worried about custody, shore up your case
As a father, it’s reasonable that you could be worried about your custody case. In media and social circles, people often spread a myth that fathers are less likely to obtain custody.
If you want to be cautious, you need to build a strong case for the custody arrangements you want. For example, if you’re asking for 50-50 custody, can you show that you’re able to provide for your child half of the time? Is your work flexible enough that it allows you to be there, and are you able to manage your own responsibilities as well as caring for your child?
You should be able to answer questions about your child, such as details about their schooling or medical care, friends or preferences.
If the other parent is trying to get more custody than you, think about the schedule they want and be realistic. For example, if your children’s mother stayed home with them every day and will have more time to look after them, it might be in their best interests to stay with her primarily. On the other hand, if she will be returning to work, then dividing the time could make more sense.
The goal for any custody case should be to do all you can to support your children as you go through this transition. Put them first, and that will help you find a schedule that is appropriate.