Even though courts do not discriminate against fathers, only a tiny percentage of men are granted full parental responsibility. Census data shows that dads account for 17.5% of custodial parents.
Regardless of the reasons, if you’re a parent trying to get full custody, it’s hard not to feel disheartened. The procedure is complicated, but it is not insurmountable.
Most judges make an effort to make decisions in the best interests of the children involved in the cases they are handling. Giving sole custody to one parent implies keeping in touch and maintaining connections with both parents unless there are other issues such as abuse or substance misuse to consider.
Prepare for the custody battle ahead, whether you’re the sole custodian or seeking shared custody with your ex-wife. To find out, read more here. You can get the outcome you want if you make a strong case for your child’s custody.
Think Logically And Honestly
You must be honest with yourself about your practical, financial, and non-financial self-sufficiency. Full custody may be what you desire, but it may not be attainable.
Your new life will be examined by the court to ensure that you clearly understand what you are petitioning for. Consider all of your daily responsibilities and how you will handle them as a single parent.
Decide what you’re capable of and what you’re not, and tell people the truth about it. As a result, your request is more likely to be considered seriously.
Organize Your Thoughts
If you’re granted custody, the judge will expect you to be ready for it. Compile well-thought-out answers to the judge’s possible inquiries.
A judge, for example, could inquire about the child’s housing arrangements, academic progress (including extracurricular activities), and financial readiness.
Be ready to respond to each one wholly and honestly when they ask you a question.
Consult With Other Parental Authorities
See if you can get in touch with someone who has gone through the custody battle. Insight and expectations can be shared with them.
However, keep in mind that each person’s life is different from before and after it. Distinguishing between the emotional and factual parts of people’s tales should be your top priority while interviewing them. The worry from others can quickly raise your level of anxiety, which might impair your judgment.
Participate In The Life Of Your Child
The court will look for proof of a meaningful relationship in addition to your ability to provide a child’s primary and practical requirements.
Even if you have a deep emotional attachment to your kid, the judge wants to see objective evidence of that.
As an illustration:
- Do the people who work at the school where your child goes know you? Have you discussed your success in school with them? If not, do you plan to?
- Do you sit down with your child and help them with schoolwork, or do you take charge of their sports team?
- Exactly how much time and effort do you put into keeping up with your children’s extracurricular activities and other crucial events? Do you know who your child’s closest pals are from things like school plays, birthday parties, and award ceremonies? When they grow up, what do you think your child wants to be?
Don’t Forget To Make Child Support Payments.
You must continue paying child support even if you ask the court for joint or exclusive custody. When you enter the process, you’ll want a solid track record behind you.
The best way to prove you’ve been financially supporting your children is by keeping track of all the money you’ve given them throughout the arrangement.
You can ask for a modification if you’re having trouble keeping up with your payments. To avoid having to pay child support, you shouldn’t try to get full custody.
If you are granted full custody, you should think about whether or not you will ask the other parent for child support.
Monitor The Number Of Visitors You Get
It’s critical to have a complete record of your kid’s visitation schedule if you want to obtain child custody. Visitation records indicate your dependability and devotion to your children since they reveal how often you see them under the present arrangements.
Remember to follow the visitation schedule that you and your ex-partner drew up during your initial discussions about child custody and filed to the court. Likewise, if your ex-partner fails to follow through on their end of the bargain or isolates you from your children, make sure you document it as well.
Using a calendar or child custody software might help you keep track of your visitations. For solid proof in court, look for applications that provide a time and date stamp. This gives your argument credence.
Make Room For Your Child In Your Home
The court will inquire about the parties’ ability to afford acceptable living arrangements during all child custody proceedings.
Whatever your living situation, make sure your child has a particular spot in your house, no matter how tiny. It’s the judge’s job to make sure:
- Your home is where you spend most of your time.
- When your child is staying with you, you have a bed where they may sleep.
- You may rest easy knowing that your house is well guarded.
Before going to court, be sure you’ve dealt with all of these concerns to your satisfaction.
Don’t Disregard What Your Child Says.
Cases involving child custody and the subsequent transfer are stressful for everyone involved, but this is especially true for children. Youngsters’ opinions are frequently ignored by parents preoccupied with their desires or conceptions of what is best for their children.
During the hearing, the judge will be interested in hearing what the children have to say and may even question them. Asking your child what they think will help you make better decisions.
The fact that your children have a say in where and with whom they live is essential, even if you can’t fulfill all of their wishes. Allow them to air their views without attempting to persuade or sway them—and pay attention.
Take everything you’ve learned and apply it to craft a custody request that shows the other parent you’ve taken the time to listen to them and care about their feelings.
Do not forget that most courts are reluctant to change existing custody arrangements if they are functioning well.
If you want complete custody, you must be able to show that the new arrangement is in your children’s best interests.