3 Tips For Single Fathers Looking To Gain Custody Of Their Child

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Child custody battles are never easy, and as a father looking to gain custody of your son or daughter, you have a difficult road ahead. The unsettling truth is that, despite a large shift in gender roles, mothers are more likely to win the custody battle. Therefore, it's important you go into the custody battle prepared and knowing exactly what is expected of you. Below are three tips to help you with this: 

Prove Your Financial Stability

When the courts are deliberating on your case, one of the main things they will look at is your financial history. The courts will never give a decision in your favor if they don't think you have the resources to support a child, so it's important to have your finances in order before moving your case forward. This may mean sitting down and going through your last 12 months' statements and preparing your rebuttal to any questions the courts may ask. 

If you were the main provider in your family, you can use this to your advantage when filing for custody. It may be uncomfortable to use your higher earning power to  leverage your case, but the truth is, courts will look in your favor if you are in a more stable place than your ex-spouse. Therefore, don't be afraid to highlight your previous role as the family's main source of income; the court will have to make a decision on which parent can provide the best life for the child, and if you earn a significantly higher income than your spouse, you will have a better chance of winning your case.

Have References

Proving your financial stability is one thing, but the courts are also looking to make sure you have a reputable character to ensure you will be able to support your son or daughter's well-being. One of the best ways you can do this is by getting solid character references from friends, family, and coworkers. Having a list of well-written character references at your disposal can help the courts look in your favor when it comes to making a decision on your case. A few tips when getting references together are: 

  • If possible, ask respected members of the public, such as police officers, doctors, or government officials. 
  • Make sure they don't over-exaggerate your case and only give truthful information. It's important to highlight why you deserve custody and to give examples of your strong character; however, you must make sure that everything in your reference statements can be verified by the courts.
  • Try to make sure your references align with one another. It's great to have one statement that lists all of your positive character traits, but if you have four or five that say the same thing, it will have much more impact. 

Play an Active Role in Your Child's Life

If you're looking to gain full custody of your child, it's important that you demonstrate your commitment by playing an active role in your child's life. This means that you should attend all sporting, social, and educational events that your son or daughter takes part in. This may mean coming face-to-face with your ex-spouse, which, if the divorce was less than pleasant, could be difficult on you. However, failing to show a keen interest in your child's extracurricular activities suggests to the court that you aren't committed to maintaining a meaningful relationship with your child, which will shine a negative light on your custody case. 

Attending these events will also let others know that you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices to spend time with your child. This will only serve to show you in a good light, and, if you can make teachers or sports coaches aware of your commitments, can help you greatly when it comes to sourcing references. Therefore, make sure you speak with your child about what events are important to them and make sure that you are there in the front row to support them.

Be sure to talk to a custody lawyer from a firm like Madison Law Firm PLLC about other things you can you to strengthen your case.


21 January 2016

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