Not all advice is good advice, even when it comes from someone with good intentions. Friends and family have an earnest desire to see you get through your child custody battle successfully, but they could unintentionally give you advice that will land you in the opposite position. Whether it’s a close friend or family member or a website forum, make sure you know what information and tips you should completely ignore.
They’re Your Children
Children are the creation of two people. Unless the other parent has waived or lost their parental rights, the courts will always consider each parent before making a decision. If someone is telling you that you don’t have to share custody of a child, this attitude could backfire on you.
Even if you are the primary caregiver of the child concerning their day-to-day and financial needs, the court will still consider the rights of the other parent when deciding on a child custody agreement. If you attempt to shut the other parent out unfairly, you could lose your bid for custody.
Parenting is a joint venture, and child custody agreements should be embarked on as such.
You Don’t Have to Compromise
Child custody agreements are all about give-and-take, and don’t let anyone convenience you otherwise. Compromise is the most straightforward route to a successful and stress-free child custody agreement, but it is sometimes a hard one to take.
A significant part of being successful is putting your emotions about the relationship to the side and only viewing the agreement from the angle of your child’s needs and wants. If the court sees that you’re unwilling to compromise even when it benefits the child, this could hurt your case.
If you’re unable to put your emotions to the side, an attorney can step in and communicate with the other parent on your behalf.
Courts Automatically Award Custody to Mothers
The days of the mother automatically being awarded custody are long gone. In fact, over the last five decades, the number of single-dad households increased dramatically.
Generally, custody is awarded to the parent who is deemed to provide the best environment for a child, in every aspect, including emotional, physical, and financial well-being, and if this parent is the father, they will be awarded custody.
If you are seeking sole legal and primary custody, don’t assume that you’ll be granted your request because you’re the mother or that it’s not worth fighting for because you’re the father.
You’re a Great Parent; There’s No Need to Worry
Child custody shouldn’t be a knock-down drag-out battle, but in the simplest form, it is a battle because it’s an engagement between two people. It can’t be stressed enough that child custody is all about the wellbeing of the child and what you perceive to be good might not be the same as the view of a judge.
For example, take a parent seeking full custody that works 11-hour days Monday through Friday. The other parent works on the weekends only, has a stable home and adequate financial means.
Given the work schedule of the first parent, the court could decide that joint custody is in the best interest of the children because it allows them to spend time with a parent instead of a caregiver. No matter how great of a parent you think you are, what’s best for your child is more important.
Negotiating a child custody agreement is not the ideal position to be in, and they come with their fair share of challenges, but we are committed to helping our clients navigate through this process, successfully. We are here to protect your family and your rights. Contact the Lowry Law Firm for help.