More and more California dads are actively caring for their children, becoming increasingly involved in many aspects of child rearing and meeting their child's emotional needs. Working out appropriate parenting time in the child custody negotiation is therefore crucial.
There are a few things that dads involved in child custody disputes can do to ensure they receive fair treatment and get as much time as possible with their children. First, dads should fight hard for their custodial rights. They must be clear about their goals and be ready to pursue them. The best way to go about this is by demonstrating to the court that they understand their children's needs, that their parenting time requests are practical and, most importantly, in the child's best interest.
Historically, courts have favored mothers in custody decisions, but more and more dads want more access time. With courts changing their views on paternity and child custody, fathers should make sure they understand their legal rights while fighting for custody of their children.
One of the biggest blunders made during a child custody case is bringing up child support. Experts warn dads to avoid the topic during child custody talks because it makes them seem as though they are trying to wiggle out of paying child support. California law determines child support based not only on each parent's monthly income but also on the amount of time the parent cares for the child.
Finally, keeping the peace with an ex-wife eases tensions. Once the hearings are over, co-parents will have to work together to raise the children. Co-parenting is a long-term relationship and being reasonable can only have a positive impact to the children.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court," Morghan Leia Richardson, May 23, 2013