Divorce is difficult for every member of a Missouri family, but it can be especially challenging if you and the other parent are at odds over child custody. As a father, you may already know you will have to fight for equal custody of your children, even if your establishment as a loving and involved parent is clear. Fighting for parental rights can be especially challenging for dads.
You know that in the past, mothers had the advantage in family court. Judges often granted mothers primary custody while only giving dads weekend visitation. These types of arrangements are detrimental for kids who need to be able to maintain strong relationships with both parents after a divorce. It’s important for you to protect the best interests of your kids by making sure you can maintain the strong bond you have with them.
Custody battles are stressful, lengthy and overwhelming. If you are preparing to fight in court for equal custody of your kids, one of the most beneficial things you can do is to be prepared for what is ahead. Get ready for court and strengthen your case by taking some of the following actions:
- Prove your financial stability by getting your records in order, being responsible and having documentation prepared.
- Carefully document any time the other parent violates your rights in some way or refuses to follow the terms of a temporary custody order.
- Refuse to compromise, even if you are in mediation or negotiations, if it means the final order will not allow you to have equitable parenting time.
You may hear stories of other fathers who were not successful in their efforts to secure equal custody, but this should not deter you. Every custody battle is different, and your main goal should be to protect your kids above all else.
Know your rights, protect your rights
One of the first steps in protecting your parental rights as a father is to completely understand your rights. This includes your visitation and custody rights as well as your right to have a say in what happens with your child. It may be beneficial for you to learn how you can prepare for a contentious custody battle and what you should do to preserve the important relationship you have with your kids.