Even in cases when you don’t have a court-ordered child support obligation, you must keep track of everything you pay for your child.
If there’s one thing all U.S. states have in common is that the children’s best interests are involved when dealing with child custody. Many dads who seek custody of their children feel disadvantaged because certain courts still award primary custody to the mothers. We’re here to tell you that you shouldn’t fall victim of this misconception because this guide will specifically teach you how to prepare for your child custody case.
Be Realistic with Yourself
Being a single parent isn’t easy, both financially and mentally. Although full custody is what you may want, sometimes it may not be realistic. You have to also think about all the responsibilities you deal with daily and how you’ll be able to manage them while being a single parent. However, you must be honest with yourself and have realistic expectations.
Among other things, you need to know whether you can manage responsibilities, such as:
- Can you leave work to go to an emergency involving your child?
- If you tend to travel a lot while working, have you considered child care, such as transportation from school?
- Will you help them with homework? If not, have you found someone to help your children?
In such cases, most people will advise you first to seek help from professional family lawyers because they’ll know how to weigh out your options and manage responsibilities.
Be Involved in Your Child’s Life
Besides ensuring your child is safe and has their essential needs, the court will also look at whether you’re actively involved in your child’s life. The court is interested in knowing which parent is more involved, so they’ll see whether you’re living with your child or apart.
Even if you’re living apart from your child, you must make visits a priority despite anything. If you’re thinking of improving your relationship with your child, we recommend getting help from a personal attorney. Depending on where you live, you could contact your state’s most well-known lawyers. Suppose you live in Washington; you can seek help at Washington Custody Lawyers.
Pay Child Support
Not paying child support payment on time may be seen as a lack of interest in raising your child. In some cases, you might struggle to make payments, but you can request a modification. However, one of parents’ most common mistakes is attempting to get full custody to eliminate child support.
Even in cases when you don’t have a court-ordered child support obligation, you must keep track of everything you pay for your child:
- Do you pay all or part of your child’s school or daycare tuition?
- Do you pay school fees?
- Do you write checks to your co-parent?
- Have you purchased diapers or formula?
Show Respect to Your Co-Parent
Court hearings are always stressful, but you must respect your child’s other parent, the judge, the opposing lawyers, and your child. Not only should you be respectful, but also speak appropriately about your co-parent to your child.
How you treat your child’s parent can determine the final child custody decision, so if you’re being rude to the other parent, that’ll only damage parent-child relationships.
Contact a Lawyer
Keeping up with family courts can be difficult and expensive. However, it’s always better and easier to prevent a court order from happening than undo it. The same goes for parents who have already filed for a divorce or are in the process.
Everyone, even fathers, deserves joint custody of their children. That’s why we hope you seek help from experienced family law attorneys in your state. Again, suppose you’re from D.C., and you’ve just filed for divorce. In that case, you can contact Washington Divorce Lawyers, who will inform you how you can avoid unpleasant situations and ultimately win your custody case.