5 tips for father’s who want to win custody of their children after a divorce

CUSTODY TIPS FOR DADS

FATHER’S RIGHTS: Father’s rights law firms and groups have become increasingly visible, vocal and vociferous in their quest to gain respect for dads who are enmeshed in a divorce battle with their ex wife for custody of the children.

More and more lawyers are identifying themselves a “father’s rights specialists” and they are helping dads stand up for their rights to have a say in the rearing and custody of their children. While this divorce blog‘s readership skews mostly female, we do have many male readers as well, and we have evolved over the past three years to realize we need to be more sensitive to men/dads in how we not only cover issues, but in terms of actually providing post-divorce resources for fathers as well. Because many dads are just wonderful and some would make better custodial parents than mom (sorry ladies) and so, while it does require increased sensitivity and awareness, we are proud to say that we are getting better at giving dads their due. Just to prove it, here is some advice specifically for dads who are trying to “win” custody of their kids after a divorce and gain residential custody and legal custody over their children. 5545585015_24c0615555_z

So, here are five tips for you dad who want to win custody:

1. Use your superior earning power to your advantage – Money talks. The fact is that men as a group are more affluent, by far, than women. Men still rule. They still make more money. And it takes money to provide resources that children need for adequate child rearing and care. Make a point of showing the divorce judge/court that if you win custody, the children will be better taken care of because, frankly, you have the financial resources to provide a better life for them. Paying child support, especially if the money paid is not being used on the children in total, is not the same as having the children reside in a home where resources are readily available.

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2. Get remarried and get a new mommy-figure for the kids – Obviously, you are not trying to replace the children’s mother. But it doesn’t hurt if there is a new balanced and peaceful family situation at your house as compared to mom’s that would be in the children’s best interest. A new wife provides a kind of stability and balance that would augment your argument that you have not only the financial resources, but the actual ability to care for the children and to be there for them and to provide balance for them. A wife, especially one who is stay at home and one who actually likes your kids is an asset in your custody fight.

3. Get your friends to say nice things about you in affidavits. In court, it’s always good to have affidavits from people who know you or have them actually come to court on your behalf to tell the court what a great guy you are. Pastors, Employer/employees, school personnel and members of volunteer organizations you belong to, and do great work for, are great bets.

4. Be a “helicopter” parent – Be there for the kids till its nauseating; pick them up at daycare or school, go to all the meetings, etc. Teachers should be able to testify that you are always there for your kids. You know the teacher’s names, they have your phone number and you are there for every recital, game and project. This will win you big points and it will show the court that you are a good caretaker for your child.

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5. Demonstrate that mom is bad news. Does she drink, smoke or do drugs? Does she physically or verbally abuse the children? Is there a different man in the house every other night? Is she a workaholic who is never home? Can friends or family members be called upon to tell the court what a bad idea it is for mom to have custody? Then you may need to call on them for their support.

Now. Having said all that, I still don’t get why custody have to be a battle where just one parent wins. Why not do like the state of Florida and have a time sharing and co-parenting plan that eliminate all this nonsense about fighting over your children? They are both your children. It really shouldn’t be a fight and war. Just share the children. That is what I would prefer to see happen. But that is in my fantasy world, I know. So, in the meantime, these are some tips for dads who want to “win” custody of their children. (Sorry, moms if I have been offensive to you in this post.)

Which is more important? Father’s rights? Or Mother’s rights?

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13 thoughts on “5 tips for father’s who want to win custody of their children after a divorce”

  1. All excellent suggestions here, but I think they may imply – quite unintentionally- that most dads have ulterior motives.

    Re: the money: I’ve successfully represented a lot of dads over the years, some with lower or equal earning power to the moms, and not all of them were re-married. And I must say, I never took one custody battle for an insincere dad who was just throwing his financial weight around. That doesn’t win cases or help the kids one iota.

    I also think dads should never, ever, ever use money as a weapon- keep paying the darn child support until the judge says otherwise, that’s my vote. Otherwise the dads risk looking like they want custody just so they can save money on that non-deductible support.

    Next, I always found that ‘friendly’ affidavits were generally regarded as bs by the courts. It’s the forensic evaluations that rise to the top of the heap– how the dads do in their evaluations can make or break their cases. And what the lawyers for the child think of the dads (really tough sometimes, especially when the child’s lawyer is a baby lawyer, a pompous jerk, or a dabbler!) – also critical.

    I think dads should also exercise caution with Internet (including Facebook and other social media) and cell phone communications – prime fodder for evidence pro and con their cases.

    Finally, New York certainly allows for co-parenting (joint legal and physical custody) and shared time. Problem is, so few spouses are willing to see the forest for the trees, push their personal differences aside and work together post-divorce for the benefit of their kids.

    OK, sorry, I’ll come off my high horse now… :</

    1. Very detailed and helpful comment that adds to the conversation, Terri. I wish for more commenters like you. It’s so refreshing when compared to the buckets of spam I have to empty out on a daily basis. And you clearly have been doing this thing a while. You’re right, a lot of times the court looks askance at anything the court isn’t going to be impressed with. (did I mention I hate the whole family court experience?) Supreme isn’t that much better when it comes to custody battles. I hate custody battles. I wish more parents would get their act together. but that would mean no work for divorce lawyers. Which would be bad.

      Oh, sorry if we seemed like we’re saying dads have an ulterior motive. Just trying to wink at them a bit and say, you know, there are some cards you can play. But this obviously has to be done with finesse and sensitivity, and that’s where a good lawyer comes in who can frame it in such a way that he’s using his money as ammunition, but not really. Know what I mean?

      I’ve personally never had a case actually wind up being joint custody. I found a real reluctance in New York to award joint custody if there is even a hint of discord.

    2. Terri, thanks for your comments. Custody battles suck. Hopefully one day we can just get away from the adversarial model altogether.

  2. Yep, I handled a lot of custody cases in my time. quite a few for dads, too. I always disliked the agenda people, though (father’s rights, mother’s writes,etc.) – just take the cases where the parent seeking custody is the ‘right’ side of the case.

    Custody battles chew you (th lawyer) up and rip out your guts- all before breakfast. But I found them to be the most personally rewarding part of my practice.

    That’s why most of my novel,CLIENT RELATIONS, is set with a vicious custody case as the backdrop.

    Did you mention F-f-f-f-f-f-family Court? :O

    1. Hey Elizabeth, you sound like a lawyer! You tell me. Do they HAVE to be “presented” and “authenticated?” My impression has always been that affidavits (which are notarized by a notary public obviously) can be presented to the court, certainly in the preliminary stages before trial, and be accepted on the merits. Of course, if there is a trial then the affiants would have appear (except in rare circumstances) because of the right of the other side to cross examine the affiant with regard to the contents of the affidavit. Is that what you mean by authentication?

      By “presented” and “authenticated” I’m not sure what you mean exactly. I mean, one way to “authenticate” an affidavit would be for the notary public who signs off on it to verify the affiant is who he or she says he or she is; that can be done easily by checking the signature against the picture identification presented to the notary. A judge can also authenticate the signature during a court proceeding, of course. But I think there are circumstances where, if the trial isn’t under way (maybe we are talking about a temporary custody arrangement pending the trial) where the court may accept an affidavit that was “authenticated” by a notary public as evidence of the father’s fitness as a custodial parent. If a formal trial ensues, then more than likely, the affiants would have to appear in court to testify to the merits of the affidavit, or, if I am understanding your point, to “authenticate” the affidavit and face cross examination from the other side….

      What do YOU think about this? What is your take?

  3. Honestly, money does talk. That sounds harsh, but that is reality. You can use your superior financial position to hire the most effective divorce attorney and a private investigator (which would help tremendously for #5.

    Throughout the divorce process, the Judge is suppose to be issuing rulings based on what he thinks is in the best interest of the children. Make sure the Judge clearly sees that YOU are in the best interest of the children.

  4. Hi everyone,
    My husbands ex is causing quite the stir. And we need some help. The mother is receiving child support and has ever since she got custody. Which we gave to her. The child was older and a girl and wanted to be with her mother. But every time we think we’re doing ok she cuts us down. We’re at the point where we can’t pay some of our house hold bills because of CS. And now the mother is threatening to go for sole custody. Because we shut the child’s phone off for various reasons. And told my husband he was sick for explaining to the child why we had to make cut backs. Claims she is going to have child fill out paperwork about our household. We have 3 toddler boys. Our house is messy. I’m terrified of CPS. Not that we’re in anyway bad parents or on drugs or abuse our boys. But you just never know. The mother is feeding the child all this crap and the child is eating it up. Child is 15yrs old. They’re just mad we shut the phone off. The mother wants the child because she’s a meal ticket. Mother doesn’t want to pay bills. We have paid over 4K for child’s braces. The mother is on disability and deemed legally blind. But yet drives. Child has told me she’s scared of her moms driving and the mothers BF has hit the child over the past 3 yrs of her living there. My husband child’s father has never laid a hand in child in the 6 yrs we’ve been married. Please help any advise? Thank you.

    1. Come on now. If your husband’s child is being abused by his ex wife’s boyfriend don’t you think you should do something about it. I mean if you can prove she is being abused why aren’t you doing something about it.

      To me it seems like you don’t want the child. Would you of not paid for braces if the child lived with you? If the mom is on disability her income is fixed and would most likely never be able to pay $4,000 for braces. Plus did a judge order you to pay for braces? Where the braces necessary or just a cosmetic choice? What am saying is why bring up the braces when your stepdaughter (which I might add you never referred to her as your stepdaughter, only your husband’s child) is as you say being ABUSED.

      This makes me mad. You go on about money forever and throw in by the way I’ve never seen my husband hit his child in the 6 years we’ve been together. But according to what my husband’s child has been telling us I’ve known that a grown MAN has been hitting her for 3 years. You speak of this child as a money problem and not an actual living breathing human being that might or might not be in an unstable violent dangerous situation. If you believe the mother is really putting her child in danger do something about it. I can’t believe this I could go on forever about this but I will only get more frustrated with you.

      Please don’t ignore what is actually happening to the child. Forget about the money for the moment and make sure you aren’t endangering another person’s well being. Please please please. What if your not getting the whole story? What if it’s worse? You have to somehow find out and make sure wether or not it is safe for her to be living with her mother.

  5. My wife is an amazing mother and I am an amazing father. We are love our girls more than anything else. The problem is that we aren’t the right match for each other. I can’t live without my kids, I fear that they will be raised poorly due to the way my wife was brought up (mentally and physically abused) i fear the morals that my wife has, we are both materialistic but I have money and don’t risk our children’s future. My wife has a student visa for the US which is expiring in 1 year. We have a pre-nup and we wavered child support. I don’t want my children to not live in the same country as their mother. Do you think it’s possible to get full custody? I would always want their mother (for them) to have access. Is this possible without her getting kicked out of the country? Do I have a chance of winning? We were going to buy a house but I don’t want to loose the financial benefit over them and I fear my wife if she wins will take them to a different country. Please help, I don’t want my angels to go.

  6. Single Mothers are 24 times more likely to kill their children than single Fathers- those are the facts. More studies reflect that psychological long term well being of children need the involvement of their Fathers – and ladies its complete garbage that “quality time” is better than time. Stop lying to yourselves and get honest with what your children need- Consider the abuse that men ( including myself) have to endure if they want to remain in their children’s lives. Oddly- such as my case, we were married for 16 years, co-chair’s of nursery’s etc. Yet similarly the “war against Men and Fathers” can take children from the Fathers for months and even years. 330 men commit suicide each month having to endure this invasion of their most basic rights and in fact responsibilities.

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