Men headed for divorce fear one thing more than losing half of what they’ve worked hard for: losing their kids.
When you’re married, things are (supposed to be) simple. You make all decisions related to your child together – as a team. When divorce is on the table, the circumstances change, and so does the custody arrangement.
But as a father, you still have equal rights under the law as long as you are fit to raise the child.
As you head down the bumpy road of divorce, it’s important to understand your rights as a dad.
You Have a Right to Seek Custody
While mothers still have an upper hand in custody battles, the tides are beginning to turn. More fathers are being granted custody – and not just because the mother is an unfit parent.
More fathers are fighting for custody and winning, and moms are given visitation rights.
If you can demonstrate that you would provide a better environment for your child or you are the better fit for raising the child, the court will be more inclined to grant your custody request.
Be an Active Parent
Irregardless of which parent is seeking custody, the courts will base their decision on which living arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
That may mean that one parent gets full custody, or it may mean that parents share custody in a joint arrangement.
Whichever option you want to seek, it’s important to maintain an active role in your child’s life.
Attend after-school events, spend quality time with your child, and show an interest in his or her interests.
Being an active parent will support your case for custody, as the court may consider it disruptive to give you minimal visitation time.
Fight for Your Visitation Rights
If you are granted visitation rights, make sure that your ex is honoring the arrangement. Of course, there may be times when unforeseeable circumstances prevent a visitation from happening, but violations of the court order for no valid reason are not acceptable and may be grounds for changing custody.
Fight for your visitation rights, especially if your ex is trying to alienate your child from you. The police may even provide assistance in enforcing a court visitation order. But before you go this route, consider the effect this might have on your child (seeing police officers in your home).
As a father, you have a right to see your child if a visitation order is in place and you have a right to pursue custody if you’re headed for divorce. If you’re still unsure of your situation, your lawyer can help you better understand your custody rights and how to protect them.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm focusing on men’s rights during a divorce. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has experience working with Men going through divorces in New Jersey. You can read more on this topic by visiting our divorce blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.