Most people prioritize their children throughout their lives no matter what happens. While children certainly need less attention as they grow, parents never stop caring for their children in age-appropriate ways. This is the case whether both parents or only one parent is involved. When it comes to divorce, many parents struggle with the idea of child-rearing. Though divorce may be best for the couple, the process puts their relationship with their child in jeopardy. This is because the court, not the parents, determines child custody.
For fathers, this reality can be especially worrisome. Many believe that a child’s mother has the advantage when it comes to child custody. This is because our society has the incorrect notion that mothers are more nurturing and present than fathers are. Of course, in the modern day, this is wildly inaccurate.
If you are facing a child custody case as a father, you likely have many questions about what you are up against. Here at Stange, we work diligently to make sure that fathers know that they are equally represented, and have just as many rights as mothers do.
The Court’s Considerations
The first thing to note during child custody cases is that the court only cares about the child’s safety and well-being. All other factors are unimportant in the eyes of the court, including the parent’s gender.
However, there are many aspects that the court considers when determining the child’s future well-being. The court will assess each parent’s lifestyle and traits in order to determine where the child will be best taken care of. Some things they consider include:
- The parent’s history with the child
- The parent’s housing stability
- The parent’s income and savings
- The time that the parent has to spend with the child
- The parent’s ability to care for the child’s hygiene and nutrition
- The company that the parent keeps
- The parent’s history of drug use, alcoholism, or addiction
- Any history of abuse or criminal record
- The parent’s health and ability status
These considerations help the court to determine if the parent is mentally, physically, and financially capable of caring for their child without the child’s other parent present. Notice that the parent’s gender is not a consideration on this list.
Presenting Your Case
The key to winning custody is accurately presenting your case to the court. You must be able to show that you are a reliable, responsible person who has a good relationship with his children. Your attorney will help you to amass proof of these things to present to the court. Some possible pieces of evidence include:
- Bank statements
- Character references
- Photos and videos with your children
- Drug tests and medical history forms
- Proof of residence
- Details of job duties and shift lengths
These items will show the court your ability to be an active participant in your child’s life, as well as your ability to keep them safe.
Because a parent’s gender has no bearing on their ability to care for their child, there are lots of options for custody. This is so that parents of any gender may have access to their child if they pass a court examination. We’ve detailed the types of custody arrangements so that you know what your options are.
If the court finds that both parents are well suited to care for their children, they will likely support joint custody. This system involves splitting the child’s home life between both parents. Some parents split the week in half, while others alternate weeks. This ensures that both parents have equal access to the kids, and are both involved in raising and caring for them.
Sole custody occurs when one parent is suited to care for the child while the other is not. In these scenarios, one parent houses and cares for the child alone. While the other parent may see the child, it is entirely at the custodial parent’s discretion. They do not have to allow the other parent access to the child if they don’t want to. Please note that sole custody is often given to fathers if they are best equipped to care for the child.
Visitation is similar to sole custody, but it involves some rights for the non-custodial parent. Though the parent likely won’t provide a home for the child, they have the legal right to see their child. The court will determine how often the parent has the right to see the child, and under what circumstances.
In all of these scenarios, gender does not come into play. The court no longer assumes that the mother is best equipped to handle the children. Instead, the judge looks at the facts of the parents’ characters and their physical and financial ability to care for the child.
In cases of sole custody or visitation, the non-custodial parent may have to pay child support to compensate for a lack of active participation in the child’s life. For example, if you have sole custody of your child, your child’s mother may have to pay child support to you. This helps to ensure that both parents are equally contributing, whether in physical time or financial support.
The court considers the parent’s income and level of involvement when determining support. A parent who does not have custody because they frequently travel for a high-powered job, for example, may need to pay more in child support than a parent who does not have custody due to housing insecurity.
Contact Stange Law
Here at Stange Law, we are passionate about supporting fathers in their quest for child support. We understand that, despite the modern system, fathers often feel at a disadvantage when they fight for custody. We believe that this is unfair, and we work diligently to make sure all fathers have an equal chance to raise their children. We can present your case in the best way possible, and help the court to see that you are ready and willing to have custody over your child.
For more information, or to begin the custody process, contact us online today.