It is no secret that fathers and men have been disadvantaged in the family court systems due to long-standing beliefs about men and women’s roles as parents. Though things are changing, tragically, many men facing divorce and child custody cases resign themselves to the idea that the court will never side with them, no matter what the evidence and facts may indicate.
Today’s family court systems have started to recognize this disparity. Lawmakers are now acknowledging that men deserve the same rights as women in the family court system. If you are a father who will soon be divorcing, know that custody is complicated. Decades of the past decisions may affect your situation. One of the most important things you can do is secure reliable and experienced legal representation to assist you in your divorce case.
Why Do I Need Legal Counsel?
Hiring an attorney will alleviate the burden of representing your case. Instead of trying to be a father, managing your work, and taking care of your home while trying to compile a legal case, call our firm. Your attorney can handle your case’s procedural requirements, assist with building a solid foundation for your divorce proceedings, and ultimately lighten the burden for you. If you take time to find a reliable, experienced, and responsive family law attorney, you will significantly increase your chances of obtaining a successful result in your divorce.
An attorney can clarify your legal standing, identify the federal and state statutes that are likely to come into play in your divorce case, and even coordinate expert witness testimony to support your side of the divorce case. Without an attorney, it would be unlikely for you to locate appropriate expert witnesses to support the unique and complex aspects of your case.
Unfortunately, many fathers throughout the country in past generations have felt as if hiring an attorney would be a pointless waste of money during a difficult time due to the bias in the family court system. Thankfully, this trend has shifted to a more balanced view of mothers and fathers as equally capable parents. Investing in reliable legal counsel is one of the best things you can do to preserve your rights as a father as you head into a divorce case.
Does It Matter If My Attorney Is Male or Female?
Many people wonder whether the sex of the attorney you hire makes a noticeable difference in a divorce case. The reality is that there are incredibly talented, capable, and dedicated attorneys of both sexes practicing all over the country. Ultimately, it is up to you which attorney instills the most confidence within you concerning your case. It is perfectly natural for men to prefer discussing personal or sensitive issues with other men, and the same applies to most women. Base your decision to hire an attorney on the measurable skill and successful professional record of the attorney.
What to Do While Your Attorney Builds Your Case
When you have a capable family law attorney on your side, this will give you more time to focus on your personal obligations and responsibilities as a father, both of which are essential to maintain for the best chance of seeing the results you desire from your divorce case. As your divorce case proceeds, there are several things outside of your proceedings that require your focus:
- Keep being an active parent. You may or may not have a temporary custody order as your divorce unfolds, or you may have an understanding with your children’s mother about how the two of you will handle things until the divorce is finalized. Take every possible opportunity to spend time with your children. Attend milestone events like birthdays and school functions and do everything possible to create extra time to spend with your children.
- Ask for personal references from family, friends, and coworkers. Character references can be incredibly powerful in a custody determination, especially for fathers who are more often considered “breadwinners” than capable caregivers. These references can show the court that you are a dedicated and responsible father and help the court overcome any outdated biases they may hold.
- Make required child support It is not uncommon for the court to require a temporary child support arrangement until the divorce is finalized. This may seem unfair at first but fighting it or refusing to pay only hurts your chances of securing a positive result in your custody case. Refusal or failure to pay court-ordered child support, even under a temporary arrangement, can also lead to fines and other legal penalties that will severely injure your position in your custody case.
- Be cordial with your coparent. No matter what intense personal issues exist between you and your children’s mother, these issues are entirely separate from your shared responsibilities as parents. Do everything you can to maintain respectful, responsive, and clear communication with your coparent as necessary throughout your divorce case. This will be beneficial in the future since the two of you will unavoidably be a part of each others’ lives for years to come due to your shared parental roles.
- Gather detailed records and documentation essential to your case. While your legal team will have robust research and fact-finding capabilities, it is still essential to do your own due diligence. Consult your attorney to determine what records and documentation you need to gather to build your case.
These tips will help you strengthen your case, maintain positive relationships with your children, and establish respectful communication dynamics with your coparent moving forward.
Remember, even if you obtain a successful result in your divorce case, you may still need to revisit your divorce decree in the future. Many potential events can influence your custody and support agreement, such as the loss of a job, a medical emergency, or the birth of a new child after remarriage.
Your family law attorney can assist you in filing a post-judgment motion to have a child custody or support agreement modified. It is also possible to adjust an alimony agreement under certain conditions. Take time to find a reliable attorney with solid experience in family law so you can approach your divorce with greater confidence and security.