Every year thousands of Americans make the difficult decision to pursue a divorce. For fathers navigating the divorce process, the chances of winning significant custodial privileges can seem less than favorable. In all reality, there are a number of steps one can take to ensure that you are awarded parental responsibilities. Below we will discuss some of the steps you can take as a single father to ensure that you can maintain a significant relationship with your child, after your divorce. If you are looking to secure child custody, it is time to seek out the help of a qualified attorney.
Despite the narrative that fathers have more difficulty securing child custody than mothers, thousands of fathers are granted significant parental responsibilities, each and every year. That being said, there are a couple of simple steps you can take to increase the likelihood of securing significant custodial privileges through the divorce process.
Be Kind to Your Spouse: While the divorce process can be stressful and lead to some animosity between the spouses, it is important to remain calm and treat your spouse with respect throughout the entirety of the divorce process. First and foremost, you treating your spouse poorly in the courtroom or disparaging her to friends or through social media, will display a level of erratic behavior to the judge. If you are attempting to secure some level of shared custody, a judge will be looking to identify signs of a healthy parenting partnership and the ability to compromise. It is also important to note that if you and your spouse have the ability to be respectful and kind to each other, you can pursue the option of divorce mediation providing you with increased flexibility in terms of child custody.
Go Above and Beyond: While some people will state that mothers and fathers have the exact same likelihood of being granted custodial privileges in court, the reality of the situation is that fathers need to provide the court with a compelling case as to why they deserve parental responsibilities. If you and your spouse have already separated and you have been granted visitation rights, use them regularly to showcase an eagerness to spend time with your children. If you have moved into a new place, request an in-home custody evaluation allowing the court to visually see that you are prepared for independent parenthood. It is also important to be on-time and consistent when picking up your children from school, from extra-curricular activities, and from your spouse’s house. Perception is everything, be sure to showcase that you are ready for independent parenting.
Be Responsible: While the divorce process can be stressful, the one thing you can undoubtedly control is your own behavior. As you navigate this time in your life, avoid the temptation to recklessly spend, abuse drugs or alcohol, or behave erratically. You are trying to prove in court that you are prepared to raise a child on your own. The best way to make that statement is by ensuring that they understand that you have your own life under control. If you are having difficulties grappling with the emotions of the divorce, speak with your attorney regarding the possibility of working with a counselor.
While the steps above are prudent actions you can take on your own, the most important step you can take during a divorce is hiring an attorney you can believe in. At J. Aldrich Law, P.C., our firm is dedicated to helping our clients secure parental responsibilities. We believe that every parent deserves to have a relationship with their children, and will do everything in our power to ensure that you are awarded significant child custody. To schedule a free initial consultation with a knowledgeable DuPage County divorce attorney, call us today at 630-953-3000.