On behalf of Tasha K. Schaffner of Schaffner Family on Thursday, April 26, 2018.
The film and book industries have not really done justice regarding how they portray fathers in America. Often, characters in movies or novels come across as lazy, disinterested parties who try to escape the obligations and responsibilities that accompany parenthood. If such characterizations irritate you, you are definitely not alone in your frustration. The fact is that there are many wonderful fathers out there who want nothing more than to fulfill their roles as best they can to help their children become well-adjusted, productive, happy adults.
If you’ve recently divorced, you may find it even more challenging to overcome the stigma associated with such situations when it comes to being a dad. You may not only consider yourself the antithesis of the typical Hollywood portrayal of fathers, you may even hope to pursue full custody of your children as you and your former spouse navigate divorce proceedings. Long ago, such goals were nearly impossible to achieve; nowadays, it’s not only possible, but may be more likely if you keep certain things in mind.
Increase your chances
The court has the ultimate voice of authority when it comes to all decisions regarding the future care of your children post-divorce. Your input certainly matters, however, and may influence the court’s decisions. The following list includes things you can do to improve your chances of obtaining custody of your kids:
Remain active in their daily lives. Be prepared to show the court that you communicate with your children, hopefully, on a daily basis and that you regularly attend their sporting events and other special occasions, such as school concerts or parents’ night.
Also show the court evidence that you spend ample time with your kids in your free time.
If there’s an existing child support order, adhere to it and make your payments on time.
If something arises that makes it infeasible to keep paying child support, bring it to the court’s immediate attention and request a court order modification, but do not disobey the existing court order.
Develop a parenting plan and be prepared to execute it. The court will want to know where you plan to live with your kids and how capable you are of fulfilling the daily obligations that accompany child custody.
Let’s say you work 100 miles from home and typically spend 14 hours per day away from your residence. The court is highly unlikely to find that a suitable arrangement for custody. You should think ahead and make sure you are able to satisfy your role as a custodial parent according to the reasonable expectations that are inherent to the position.