Children often become the unintentional victims of divorce, especially if the divorcing spouses cannot work out a fair and equitable custody arrangement on their own. While statistics show that more fathers are winning custody battles than before, many still find themselves with a less than satisfactory custody arrangement, once the divorce is final. If you and your wife are facing a difficult divorce and you want to increase your chances of receiving an equitable custody arrangement, these proactive tips will help you make your case in court.
Keep detailed daily records before and during the divorce process
Child custody arrangements are often usually decided in favor of the spouse the court views as being best able to properly provide care and support for the children. In many cases, this can give the mother an advantage Keeping detailed records throughout the process can help fathers offer proof of critical information the court will want to see, such as:
- sources and amounts of financial support each spouse provides for the children
- the amount of time each parent spends with their children
- health, educational, and financial records for the children
In addition, keeping a daily, written journal in which specific details and events are noted can often help fathers prove important points in court during a custody battle.
Consider remaining in the family home during the separation
Fathers often feel they must leave the family home when the marital relationship sours and a divorce is imminent. But doing so can lessen the amount of time they spend with their children during this critical period. Instead of leaving the home, fathers may want to consider moving into another bedroom in order to remain more accessible to your children.
Avoid circumstances that can be used against you in a custody battle
Fathers who seek custody during a difficult divorce often find themselves having to justify even innocent actions in court, such as stopping for a drink with friends after work or going out to a social event. To avoid giving unnecessary ammunition to an angry spouse, fathers who are facing divorce should make every effort to avoid any situation or circumstance that could be used against them later, including:
- social activities that take too much time away from the children
- alcohol or drug usage, or any type of illegal or immoral behavior
- failure to maintain employment or make good financial decisions
Fathers seeking custody should strive to always communicate calmly with their spouse and carefully document each conversation, including what was said, who said it, and when.
Obtain your own counsel
Sharing an attorney may seem like a good idea to save money or time, but it can leave fathers in a precarious situation, as the process move forward and the relationship deteriorates. Fathers who are seeking the best possible custody arrangement will be better served by consulting with their own family law attorney who can work aggressively on their behalf.