The divorce process can be an incredibly stressful time for all parties involved. The process can be increasingly stressful for fathers hoping to secure custody of their children. Most fathers have heard stories of how judges tend to favor mothers in cases of child custody, and rarely offer fathers the benefit of the doubt. While it may be true that there are more sole custody mothers than fathers in the United States, the assertion that fathers have no chance of securing significant custodial privileges is factually incorrect. All that being said, if you are looking to secure custody of your children, it is important to recognize what steps you can take to increase your chances.
Here in the state of Illinois, the court recognizes two types of custody: legal and physical. Legal custody provides a parent the right to make major life decisions regarding child care. These decisions can range from which school the child will attend to religious views. Physical custody is simply the parent that child will live with. It is possible to have joint legal custody and sole physical custody of a child. In order to ensure that you will be able to have a voice in important decisions and spend a substantial amount of time with your child, there are some critical steps you need to take.
Secure Appropriate Housing: While many parents believe that walking away from a divorce with their house is critically important to securing significant custody time, this is not necessarily true. Still, if your former spouse is awarded the house in the divorce, you need to put serious thought into your new housing choice. It is important to make sure that you secure a living space in a safe neighborhood, with ample space for your child. A judge will base their decision primarily on what they believe is in the best interest of the child, housing plays a substantial role in their decision-making process.
Prove You Are an Engaged Parent: Best interest of a child goes far beyond the physical living experience of the child. The judge will strongly consider the relationship that each parent has with their child. Recognizing this, it is critically important for you to be able to prove that you are engaged and close with your child. Showcasing your interest in your child’s academic performance, extra-curricular activities, and recreational interests can go a long way in determining how custody will be awarded. This is especially crucial for fathers fighting for sole physical or legal custody.
Be Ready To Answer Tough Questions: As you navigate the divorce process, your attorney will assist you in crafting quality answers for the questions that may arise in court. In custody cases, your ability to answer tough questions could be the deciding factor in determining custodial privileges. Be ready to discuss your work hours and how you will be able to spend significant time with your child during the workweek. Be prepared to go over your finances with regard to your ability to care for your child long term. The judge is simply looking to gain an understanding of how prepared each parent is to care for their child, be prepared.
At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., we fully recognize how stressful the divorce process can be. With that in mind, we are prepared to do everything in our power to assist you throughout the litigation process. As a father looking to secure custody rights, you need quality legal representation that you can believe in. To schedule a complimentary initial consultation with a skilled DuPage County divorce lawyer, call us today at 630-953-3000.