When you are married going through a divorce, you and your spouse begin with joint custody rights. Essentially, this means that both you and your spouse have equal rights to your children. It also means that you both have equal rights to pursue custody of your children in your divorce case.
Custody Laws Provide Equality
There was a previous notion, that perhaps still exists, that mothers will automatically receive custody of their children. This is no longer the case. Recent statistics have shown that fathers have been awarded custody 50% of the time when they seek to gain primary custody of their children. Custody laws evaluate each situation objectively and are gender neutral. The court will attempt to put the child in the best situation, regardless of which parent that may be with.
Don't Lose Custody Of Your Child
During divorce proceedings, one small mistake can swing the pendulum into your spouse's favor, ultimately granting them primary custody of your child. Consider the following when going through custody actions.
- Be the Primary Caretaker - The primary caretaker, or the parent most responsible for caring for the child's basic needs, typically has an advantage in custody cases. If the judge thinks that you do not take an effort to raise your child, the case will be easy to rule on, and it unfortunately won't be in your favor. You need to be involved with your child's life, and you should be making an effort to be involved with their daily schedule and activities.
- Keep Clean - If you are suffering from any alcohol, drug, or other parental fitness issues, correct them immediately. Judges take these issues seriously, and they present a way to immediately lose custody.
- Don't Harass or Disparage the Other Parent - In today's world, it is very easy to leave a paper trail that will be damaging in court. Do not send anything rash out of anger. Being civil and supporting your child's relationship with the other parent will reflect favorably on you in the eyes of the judge.
- Follow Your Attorney's Advice - It is very easy to become emotionally invested in a case. Your attorney will also be invested in seeing you gain custody, but they will be able to evaluate the situation more objectively. Your attorney will have years of experience working custody cases, while you may not have any experience. Following your attorney's advice will allow you to protect the rights to your children.