Mt. Juliet and Lebanon TN
Divorce has become commonplace in our culture these days. While mothers seem to get the upper hand in divorce settlements, that doesn’t mean that dads are hung out to dry in every case. If you’re a father that’s considering or going through a divorce, Yancy Belcher, a trusted divorce attorney in Mt. Juliet, wants you to understand your rights as a father dealing with a custody battle. While many mothers have sole custody of their children after a divorce, that doesn’t mean that you do not have rights, too!
Today on the blog, we are discussing various factors that a family law judge considers when determining custody battles.
Document time spent with the kids
If you already get time with your kids, start documenting the dates and hours spent together each day. If your kids spend the nights or weekends with you, be sure to document this information so that you can bring it with you to court or mediation hearings. This shows the judge that you make an effort to see your children, and that shared custody is important to you. Your spouse cannot lawfully prevent you from seeing your children unless it is court-mandated.
As you navigate through this troublesome time, friends and other family members likely will share their opinions. You probably even know another dad that got the short end of a stick in his custody battle but don’t let negative stories like that affect your decision to fight for your kids. Each case is different, and you should focus your time, energy, and thoughts on you and your kids, not negativity.
Shore up your finances
The judge will want to confirm that you can financially provide for your kids, should you be awarded joint or sole custody. Be sure that your finances are in order. Depending on your situation, this might take some time, but at least make an effort to show you’re trying. Don’t have a job? Get one. The courts are not going to be in your favor if you show up to the hearing without a job or means to financially provide for your children.
Don’t compromise or settle before mediation or court
You might be tempted, or even persuade by your ex to settle or compromise outside of court. Never do this without first consulting an attorney! Once an agreement is reached, it is difficult, if not impossible, to undo. So, if you and your spouse do discuss some compromises, don’t agree to anything until you run it by your attorney.
Here are some other factors considered in divorce hearings
- Each parent’s ability to provide emotional support for their child
- Parent to child relationship
- The willingness of each parent to work together for the good of their child
- Each parents’ ability to financially provide for their child
- Which parent has been the primary caregiver throughout the child’s lives
- The child’s development and emotional status
- Whether or not the parent is emotionally stable
- Any evidence of child abuse (physical or emotional)
- If the child is over the age of 12, the court may ask who they wish to live with
The common assumption is that divorce court is “gender bias,” and mostly awards mothers custody of the children. As a father, you have just as much of a right to have custody of your children as their mother, as long as you are a fit parent. Even if you get joint custody, you still have a legal right to parenting decisions when issues arise.
Divorce Attorney in Mt. Juliet, Hermitage, and Nashville, Tennessee
If you are a considering a divorce, or you want to find out if, as a father, you can get sole custody of your kids, schedule a consultation with The Law Office of Yancy Belcher by calling (615) 773-2889 if you live in the Nashville area of Tennessee, including Hermitage and Mt. Juliet.