There was a time when the courts automatically awarded the custody of a child to the mother by default. This was of course, very unfair, so it is nice to see that that has changed. This has definitely reduced and it is about time that the legal system has somewhat changed and recognizes the contribution of both parents in the event of a dispute.
A lot of marriages are ending in divorce and statistics show that fathers are winning sole custody. It is about time that the family courts put the child’s welfare and parental rights first instead of closing their eyes and handing custody to the mother. Here are some tips for fathers on how to win custody of their child.
1. Your Relationship With The Child’s Mother
The court will take a look at your relationship with your former partner. You have to show that you are encouraging your children to have a close and loving relationship with their mother. Take an interest and find out about what experiences they have enjoyed with their mother. No matter what your feelings are about your former partner, you need to display a civil attitude in front of your children and in the presence of your former partner as well.
Also remember, this is their mother, so try never to cause problems between them and their mother. After all, you want them to be happy, right?
2. Documenting Time
Try keeping a log and document all the time you have spent with your kids. Whatever visitation or custody agreement is in place right now, keep a record of all of your attempts at being present and active in your kid’s life, in accordance with any agreement, of course. You could coach your kid’s soccer team and you can turn up for all their games. Not only does this give you documentation, but other adults will also be witnesses to your efforts.
You need to keep a meticulous record of all the money you are spending on your child. This should also include any child support payments as well. You can buy them tickets for upcoming events, clothes, dinners, or if their mother’s birthday is coming up, you can pay for the gift. Make sure to keep any receipts as this could all come in really handy.
4. Support From Witnesses
Try to get witnesses on your side to show that you are making an effort and even outperforming the mother in certain areas. For example, if you can help them with their schoolwork and their mother does not, then the teacher can give some kind of proof regarding your efforts. This can be pretty compelling proof, coming from a teacher.
5. Negative Behaviour
If there is negative behaviour on the part of the mother, especially something that is not good or safe for the children, make sure to record this down accurately in your log. For example, if the mother allows the child to go out with someone with a drug problem or allows the child to skip school, make a note of it. Another example would be if the mother was intoxicated and drove with the child in the car. If the mother obstructed with your visitation rights or is saying negative things about you in order to turn them against you, this can be priceless information and it must be documented.
When it comes to situations like this, though it appears to be changing, it is still very much in the mother’s favour, so you will need all the documentation and help you can get. Make sure to play your part, speak with a family lawyer, and you will stand a much better chance of winning.