As a father, you may worry that the mother of your children will have a better opportunity to seek the custody schedule that she wants. You may worry that the court will side with a woman and give her more time with your children than you, hindering your relationship with your kids.
It’s important for you to know that while the courts may have been more supportive of mothers in the past, they typically view mothers and fathers as equal parents and providers today. They want to see children have time with both parents, usually as often as possible, to make sure that they grow up happy and healthy.
To improve your chances of having a custody schedule that you want, there are a few things you can do.
- Stay informed about your child’s life. Be aware of their medical conditions and how to treat them. Know their friends. Be aware of their teachers and how they’re doing at school. The more involved you are, the better you will look to the court
- Don’t be rude to the other parent. Show that you are mature and respectful. If the other parent is not, the court will take this into consideration when working out a custody schedule and the terms of your parenting arrangement.
- Do your research before asking for a certain schedule. If you want to have your child with you five days a week, can you be present there consistently? Do you have time with your work to be able to be present? Ask for custody only when you know you can actually be there to provide for your child. If you can’t actually have time for them on Monday or Tuesday, for example, it may make more sense for the other parent to have custody time on those days.
Making a good impression on the court is your goal. As a father, you shouldn’t face an unfair bias against you, but you do still need to show that you can be present in your child’s life and take an active interest in the way they grow up.