Men often feel they are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to custody battles. While no two cases are identical, below are a few general guidelines to follow that can assist you in your custody case.
Try to keep your children out of it
Although it is important to discuss your divorce with your children, it is not necessary for them to know every single thing that happens during the legal proceeding. You should isolate your children from the emotional strain of the proceedings and protect them as much as possible. They do not need a play-by-play of the various hearings, what was argued or what the judge decided.
Don’t make your children choose sides
You may be tempted to ask your child who they want to live with, but this places him or her in a very awkward and stressful situation. Also, the court will not look favorably upon a parent who appears to be pressuring the child to pick sides between his or her parents. If custody is a contested matter in your case, your children may have a lawyer appointed to represent their best interests. While the court may consider who the child asks to live with, it is only one of many factors that will be considered.
Stay involved with your children
It is essential that you demonstrate to the court that you are active your child’s life. This means attending school events, extra-curricular activities, doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher conferences, and all other important parts of your child’s life. The judge will not be impressed if you do not know the name of your child’s teacher or closest friends.
No substance abuse
If you test positive for a controlled substance or high alcohol levels, it can be fatal to your custody case. The divorce court can order a drug test with little or no notice and the test may go back several months to determine drug or alcohol abuse.
Wear formal business dress to court
This may seem obvious, but your appearance in court can make a difference in how the judge perceives you. It is important to send the message that you are taking the proceedings very seriously. If you appear clean, responsible and put together, it can go a long way to convincing the court your children will be well taken care of when in your care.
Men often find it difficult to find a divorce attorney who understands the unique male perspective on family law matters. If you are facing divorce or you have other family law needs, our legal team is here to help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.