There’s no way around it: Child custody battles are intense, emotionally charged affairs in which both parties are relentlessly scrutinized by attorneys, lawyers, and the system itself alongside confusion in grasping a father’s custodial rights.
It’s an expensive and grueling process, with parent-child relationships on the line and fathers under particular pressure to watch what they say and how they behave during the process.
The one question that usually battles the minds of divorcees at this point is: how to win a child custody battle.
The best course of action is to try and reach an amicable, joint custody agreement with an ex; if that’s out of the question, fathers need to devise an appropriate strategy for protecting themselves and their kids during child custody.
It’s a daunting prospect, certainly, but many fathers have been through it before.
Keep Your Emotions Under Control
Because the opposing side is looking for any way to make you look bad during custody battles, it’s critical to keep your cool.
Always Give Mediation A Shot
Child custody mediation (sometimes called “conciliation”) is always worth trying. Civil procedure and family law rules don’t necessarily require it, and finding a soft spot in your spouse’s heart might be your best shot, given that women and mothers win child custody in eight out of 10 cases.
Don’t Use the Children As Pawns
During custody battles, your kids shouldn’t be used as weapons or tools. And at all costs keep them out of the courtroom and off the witness stand. Pleasant childhood memories are not borne from giving court testimony.
Also emphasize keeping your cool and never berating, denigrating, or vilifying opposing litigants in front of the children.
Just Keep Them Out of It Completely
It can be all too easy to get caught up in who’s the “better” parent when trying to win custody of your kids. That won’t get you anywhere though.
Kids want to love both parents equally, and it’s never good to pit one against the other. It’s best just not to say too much to the kids about what’s happening.
Custody battles can be long, drawn-out processes. Lawyers are costly — and if they can, they’ll find a way to bill for 25 hours in a day.
Establish a separate war chest for the custody case. Don’t Trust Anyone Except Your Attorney
Understand that any text messages, emails, or social media posts can be discoverable and be entered in court. Be careful and cognizant of who you write to, and what about.”
Give As Little As Possible To The Judge And Attorneys
If your spouse is amenable to mediation or just talking, work out any possible detail with them, because whatever you don’t decide will be left to the judge.
And you’re not going to like it. The same goes for your attorney. Instruct them very specifically on what you’re willing to settle on, and whatnot. Although, at times the lawyer will know beforehand that a judge won’t go for something because they’ve ruled a certain way in the past. You just have to deal with that.
Let Time Do Its Work
Regardless of how much yammering the people in black robes or expensive suits do in a custody dispute, it may be your kid — not a judge — who determines the outcome.
Definition Of Child Support With Father’s Rights
If a judge finds that a parent is purposely earning less, or is voluntarily unemployed, the court may impute that parent's income into the formula. Imputation means that the court will calculate what the parent should or could be earning if applying education and job skills appropriately and will use that number as that parent's income in the formula.
The court will request dependency information from each parent before calculating support. If one parent has other children and is legally obligated to support the other children, the court will consider this in the outcome for any other child support case.
Most child support formulas include the number of overnight visits with each parent in the end calculation. The point of overnight visits in the formula is to give credit to each parent for the time they are financially responsible for the child.
For example, if one parent has sole physical and sole legal custody of the child and the other only sees the child once per week for a non-overnight dinner visit, the court must allocate the proper amount of support to the custodial parent.
Three things to remember about a father’s custodial rights.
Limited Or Supervised Visitation
You could agree to restrict your child’s mother’s overnight visits if she provides an unsafe environment for your child. This requires proof that your child’s mother abuses drugs engage in criminal activity or otherwise neglects your child. You could also arrange for your child’s mother’s visitation to be supervised by a third party.
Unilateral Decision-making Authority
You could also ask the judge to grant you decision-making authority. This requires proving that your child’s mother is unable to make decisions in the best interest of your child.
Negotiated Custody Plan
You could work with your ex to work out a parenting plan that gives you nearly complete custody. The agreement should allow your child’s mother to have some visitation rights. The agreement should also include a provision that allows your child’s mother to modify their custody rights in the future.
Explore more about a father’s custodial rights in terms of the definition of child support by clicking here.