We have done great work for dads with respect to custody and visitation for their children. Many fathers come into custody cases thinking they are at a disadvantage. They feel that mom is going to get everything because the courts favor the mothers.
One of the first things we do is educate men that they are on equal footing for child custody. Family court judges start with the assumption that frequent and continuing contact with both parents is in the best interest of a child.
Since the ultimate goal of any custody and visitation order is to serve the child’s best interest, it means the law is on the side of men who want to be involved in their children's lives.
Rest assured that the system isn’t biased against fathers. However, you can bet that family court judges are biased against fathers who represent themselves in court. Not because they are fathers or men, but because dads tend to do a poor job navigating the family court system on their own behalf.
What’s Your Strategy?
Despite every warning against doing so, roughly 80 percent of people represent themselves in divorce cases in California. Almost 100 percent of them do a lousy job.
It’s unlikely that anyone is capable of representing themselves in any useful capacity simply due to the emotions at play. I wouldn’t represent myself in a divorce—and I am very good at what I do—and this is because any human being cannot expect to separate the facts of their case from the stress and trauma of the situation.
A quality attorney on your side will help you compartmentalize what is important with respect to the best interest of your children. More importantly, they know what is relevant in family court. Good legal counsel will learn all the unique ins and outs of your situation by really getting to know you and understanding what you and your family need.
The most useful thing a family law attorney can do upon hearing the facts of the case is to set real and clear expectations for their clients. When you know what to expect from divorce process, it becomes easier to step into a co-parenting agreement that works for your kids.
Let’s Talk About Your Goals
Don’t think of a custody order as something to win or lose. Instead think in terms of your goals as a parent. Together we will start building the best strategy to bring those goals into fruition.
Something that our clients—both men and women—don’t understand right away is that the right custody and visitation agreement is one that both parents are capable of exercising. In most cases, you want disruption to the lives of the children kept to a minimum.
Family court judges want to know what the children's life looked like before parents needed the court to intervene. Status quo is one of the most important factors for how custody and visitation will be decided.
At no point will your sexual biology come into consideration. The answers to the questions below are exponentially more important to your orders:
- What did your family dynamic look like before you separated from your spouse?
- How far apart do you live from your spouse?
- Where do the children attend school?
- What kind of extra curricular activities do they do?
Talk to a family law attorney about a strategy before you file any paperwork. Not only does this save you time and money, it also benefits you and your children emotionally.
A parenting plan that is a genuinely a good fit your family will not only keep you out of family court once and for all, but will ensure that you maximize the quality time you have with your kids.
If you have received a stack of paperwork from a divorcing spouse, or you’re considering separation, the best thing you can do is have a game plan before filing paperwork. If you started the process already, that’s fine—we can pick up wherever you left off. The most important thing is understanding your goals and to start strategizing for your unique situation immediately.
Let us know where you’re at. Take advantage of our free initial phone consultation, and we’ll start getting a strategy in place. I want to help you be the best dad you can be, now, and in the years ahead.