Father, avoid these if you want to win custody battle

The process of getting divorced is usually very stressful and painful for most of people, especially for those who have children. This fact does not make it easier for you to behave properly during your custody battle. Unfortunately, during this time you definitely need to behave according to the certain pattern if you want to win. No matter how bad your relationship with ex-wife is, behave yourself.

First, read what the most common mistakes fathers make during their battle (and avoid them):

  1. Alienation of affection. If you put down the other parent you just harm your children who feel totally torn between you two and thus, unhappy.
  2. Yelling at wife and children. Losing control over yourself, even if you do not use physical violence, never looks good. Be prepared that your behavior may be recorded and presented in front of a judge.
  3. It does not have to be explained, just using violence towards your family (even if it is your ex-wife) is just a crime.
  4. Move in with your new love. Children suffer when they must realize that their parents no longer love each other. They suffer even more when they must look at their parent’s new love.
  5. Criticizing mother to all and everywhere. You never know who will take your side in the conflict. This kind of behavior can be treated as alienation of affection.
  6. Avoiding child support payments. In this way you show your disrespect for court and lack of concern for your children.
  7. Damaging any property belonging to mother or her relatives. Your aggression (in various forms) is a sign that you are not a proper person to take care of children.
  8. Not allowing for mom’s telephone contact with children when they are with you. This is another sign of alienation of affection.
  9. Taking children somewhere without informing mother. It may seem that you are trying to kidnap them.
  10. Picking up/removing children from school/daycare and taking them with you without informing mother. This may also bring some suspicions that you are trying to kidnap children. Besides, your wife will surely want the judge to see a list of school absences which children have because of you.
Having a good relationship with your child is one of the key factors in determing the win in custody battle

Then, it is a good idea to know what is expected from you. Judges look at your children’s good in the first place. Here you can find some of the considerations and criteria which your judge will take into account:

  • The length of time that the child has been under the actual care and control of any person other than a parent and the circumstances relevant thereto;
  • the desires of the parents as to residence-agreements reached by the parents and submitted to the court are usually presumed to be in the child’s best interest;
  • the interaction and interrelationship of the child with parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
  • the child’s adjustment to the child’s home, school, and community;
  • the willingness and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond between the child and the other parent and to allow for a continuing relationship between the child and the other parent;
  • any evidence or allegation of spousal abuse;
  • any evidence or allegation of child abuse on this or any other child;
  • whether either parent is required to register as a sex offender;
  • whether a parent is residing with a person who is required to register as a sex offender;
  • whether a parent has been convicted of abuse of a child;
  • whether a parent is residing with a person who has been convicted of abuse of a child.

Why is the role of a fatherhood neglected by the state?

The role of a healthy and loving family is invaluable when it comes to the process of shaping young people’s adult lives. Not a long time ago, family was not in the area of interest of the governments. It has luckily changed, but family policy is still in the phase of development. There is one aspect which must be seen and taken into consideration seriously – fatherhood.

No one have doubts that father’s influence on children is huge- as huge as father’s total absence. Especially charities working with children from poorer families alarm the society. It is believed that particularly boys suffer from the lack of a father. Unfortunately, there we have a never ending story – unless a boy raised without a father, or by an abusive one, would be able to set a good example of a father to his own son in the future. But it often turns out impossible.

It is true that a child can be happy while being raised by a single parent, but still having both parents engaged in a child’s life is the best possible solution. Parenthood is not easy, sharing parenthood with breadwinning is terribly difficult, so shouldn’t be our aim to provide two parents for children? And is the problem concerning only financial situation of children? Not really, our problem lays not in the lack of money for a new iPad, it lays in the children’s frequent lack of the right relationship with a father who is actively present in their lives (also if parents do not live together). In addition to this, the problems comes from treating marriage as an institution not the environment for children’s growth.

Fatherhood

Until 1991 non-resident fathers were not obliged to even financially support their children. Until 2003, unmarried fathers needed a consent of their child’s mother to receive  a legal parental responsibility. The whole policy generally seem to focus mainly on single mothers whereas fathers turn out to be totally neglected. And we must pay for this wrong socially accepted family order more and more.

Only when the importance of fathers is finally highlighted, the solution to the problem could be found. First of all, about a half of working fathers claim that they would like to have a less stressful job to find a balance between their personal lives and work. What is more, fathers are legally able to receive only two weeks of paternity leave. And the benefits system does not provide any effective help for separated parents who share their parenthood responsibility. The discrimination is present, poorer families struggle with too much burden and it needs to be changed if we want to live in a healthy society.

Politicians need to reach the core of the problem, not continuously float on its surface by making some not necessarily helping laws. Mothers are still more “important” and the gender gap will never disappear if we do not start treating fathers as equal parents. More father-friendly policy can only bring improvement – in many areas. There is a lot to be done: better paternity leave conditions, removing discrimination based on paternity, compulsory sex and relationship education which would highlight the expectations about the responsible parents. We should finally realize that it is parenthood which counts, not only marriage or motherhood.