If you are thinking about getting a divorce, there are likely many questions you have about the process, as well as the aftermath of a divorce. But if you have children, you are also thinking about custody. For a father, there are a few things you should be aware of. The following are three of them.
Today, fathers are given more custodial rights
There was a time when the courts would give sole custody to a mother without blinking an eye. Only in cases where a mother was obviously unfit to be a mother would a father get custody. Today, the courts look at who does the most parenting. In those instances when a father is doing most of the parenting, it is possible for a judge to award full custody, and the mother will receive visitation and may even pay child support.
You need to examine your motives for custody
The truth is that courts like to see both parents involved in the upbringing of a child, even after a divorce. For this reason, the most common custody agreement is some form of joint custody. This is why you need to think about why you want custody. It is entirely possible that you will be given more custody that you wanted or planned on. You need to think about how much time you will have to spend with your child and, equally important, when you will be able to do this. A custody agreement will likely include a schedule for when you will have your child living with you. It is imperative that you are ready to fulfill your responsibilities as a father under the custodial agreement.
Do not sign any paperwork without an attorney
In many cases, a couple may have few assets to divide, but there are children in the marriage. In these situations, child custody may be the biggest issue. As a father, you may be presented with paperwork to sign in what seems like a simple divorce. Examples of this paperwork are a parenting plan or a custody schedule. Do not sign anything like this without first consulting with a family attorney who has experience with custodial agreements.
Custodial agreements will affect your role as a father for many years, so it is important that you do it right. It starts with a child custody attorney, but as a father, you need to think about how much time you want to spend with your children. And keep in mind that family courts today are aware of the importance of fathers in custody agreements.