It’s estimated that more than a quarter of all children 21 and under in the United States live with one parent.
Custody hearings can be long, emotionally draining, and costly. The process can be even more stressful for fathers.
In the past mother’s were heavily favored in getting full custody, but times have changed. It’s possible for a father to get full custody if he meets the right criteria.
If you’ve been Googling the phrase “How can a father get full custody?” your search is over. We’re going to tell you what you need to do to get full custody of your children.
How Can a Father Get Full Custody?
Getting full custody is a long process. Aside from having to prove that you’re the fittest parent for full custody, you also have to prove why the mother isn’t.
You must also have a very good track record with your kids and the law. You’ll also need a good custody lawyer.
The battle may be long, but the end results will be worth it. If you’re ready to fight for full custody of your children, make sure you follow these tips.
Make Child Support Payments
This can be a bit of a financial burden for you, but it’ll help your case.
It’s important to keep in mind that child support isn’t just giving your ex a check or cash every month. It’s money that’s supposed to support your child, and paying it shows that you’re a caring father.
If you have an informal support agreement, make sure you save any receipts of transactions. It may also be a good idea to call or text whenever you send money so you have more proof that you were paying support.
When you ask yourself, “How can a father get full custody?” sometimes you need to ask yourself if the father should have full custody.
It can be hard to be away from your children, but your living situation may not be the most stable for them.
When the judge decides on custody, they take into account how the living accommodations will affect the child. The change may be too harsh for them and they may not adapt well.
Do you already have a lot of other children in the house? Do you make enough money to support you and your children? Would they have to move to a different school district if they were to live with you?
Think about how intense the change will be for your children. If it would disrupt their lives too much, it may be better to seek joint custody.
It’s rare for custody battles to be nice, and if you’re searching the phrase “How can a father get full custody?” you could be in for a long and frustrating time.
If you want to look like a good father to the court, you need to keep things civil with your ex. You may be feeling a lot of hurt and anger at the moment, but it’s best to find a different way to work through your feelings.
Keep your communication with your ex strictly about the kids. Don’t be afraid to end the conversation if you feel that your ex is becoming argumentative or too angry.
Build Strong Relationships
If you’re fighting for custody for your children, we’d like to assume that you already have a strong bond with them. Continue to maintain that strong bond, and make sure that other people in your kid’s lives know about it.
Don’t just focus on the relationship with your kids, also think about the relationships that your child has with others.
Take some time to introduce yourself to their teachers and coaches. Chat with their friend’s parents and suggest that you spend some time together.
Showing that you have a strong relationship with your child and people that are important to them will help your case.
Be Honest About Your Reasons
It’s possible to fight an intense custody battle and to also be concerned about your ex at the same time.
There are plenty of fathers that feel guilty about separating their children from their mothers. But if you’re wondering “How can a father get full custody?” you clearly have good reasons for trying to get custody of your children.
When you’re fighting for custody, it’s time to be brutally honest about why you feel that you need it. Don’t hold anything back, or worry about embarrassing or hurting the mother when you’re telling the truth.
Has the mother been neglectful or used alcohol during pregnancy? Has she been verbally or physically abusive towards your children? Let your lawyer and the judge know.
The more honest you are about your reasons for wanting custody, the better off you’ll be.
When you’re fighting for custody, records and paperwork will help you establish your case.
Don’t just keep track of what you pay in child support, keep track of how much you do you for your children.
Keep track of how many times you pick them up after school. Mention the doctor’s appointments you’ve taken them to, and the medical care you and your insurance helped pay for.
Doing this can establish that you’re an involved parent that already has an established record of helping their child.
Have a Plan
If you’re asking “How can a father get full custody?” having a solid parenting plan is part of the answer.
Raising a kid can be tough in a two-parent household, but things can get more complicated when there’s only one adult. You need to show the judge that you’re ready to handle your child’s needs.
Don’t just focus on the physical aspects of keeping a clean house and giving your child a room. Think about everything you’ll need to account for to care for them the majority of the time.
Have a babysitter lined up if you can’t be there for the kids after school. Outline your budget and how much you have devoted to your child.
Now that you have an answer to the question “How can a father get full custody?” it’s time to take action.
Search for a family law attorney by you with our attorney search tool. Start working on gathering your evidence, and work on following the tips we mentioned in this article.
And remember, if you have any questions feel free to contact us so we can help.
Your to-do list is about to explode in size, even before you file your separation papers.
Most people feel overwhelmed when going through the divorce process because there is just simply so much to do.
But making lists, practicing compartmentalization and getting help from the super team you’re about to put together can help you pull through all of this.
The first thing you’re going to do is read this blog. We’re going to walk you through everything you need to do before, during and after a divorce.
Step 1. Reach Out to The Right People
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It may take a village to lift you up in these hard times.
Here are some of the people you’re going to want to make sure you have on speed dial.
A Divorce/ Family Lawyer
You may hear that you don’t need a lawyer, especially if you’re anticipating a relatively low-conflict or uncontested divorce. That’s actually terrible advice. This is way more complex than just signing separation papers.
A family law firm isn’t just for heated courtroom battle and ugly child custody battles. They are there to be your go-to source of peace-of-mind through every set of this stressful time.
Even if things run smoothly, you’re still going to need legal advice about what’s required and what’s ahead of every corner.
And if you are expecting any sort of conflict over support, custody or assets, you will 100% need a lawyer.
Family law specifics and strategy is far too complex to go into by yourself. You need to work with an attorney with a proven record of fighting these battles and winning.
You will also just need someone who can stay level headed and take emotion out of the equation during the negotiation process.
Also, it just never hurts to feel like someone is on your side, and in your corner. You will sleep better.
A Counselor or Therapist
Even if you’re feeling a sense of optimism or relief about the dissolving of your marriage, you should still reach out to a counselor or therapist to really unpack the events leading up to and surrounding signing your separation papers.
Men and women will each face their own sets of stresses and threats when going through a divorce. For example:
- Divorced men are 39% more likely to commit suicide and engage in risky behavior than married men
- On average, one year after divorce, women’s standard of living decreases by 73%
Good or bad, for better or for worse, you’re entering into a new phase in your life. There is no need to face it alone.
Family and Friends
This is the perfect time to reconnect with family and friends that you may have grown somewhat apart from. Or maybe get even closer with a trusted confidant you leaned on during the time leading up to deciding it was time for separation papers.
This is not the time to be alone, even though you will just feel like locking all the doors and turning off the lights and your phone.
The temptation to retreat within yourself is going to be there every single day. Rise above it and surround yourself with people who make you feel good.
Also, it can help to connect with people you know have been through the same thing.
Step 2. Set Your Goals
A divorce can feel like a hurricane that just picks you up and throws you wherever it feels like putting you. But that’s not the case. You’re going to encounter some stormy weather, but it’s ultimately up to you to decide where you will end up.
During this time prior to signing separation papers, you can build good habits or bad ones. Setting specific goals for yourself and your life during this time can be an invaluable way to make sure you’re on the right course.
We know this one can be hard, with so much uncertainty going into signing the final separation papers.
If this is going to be a hotly contested divorce, you may not know who is going to get the house, who is going to be financially responsible for the kids, and what the support payments will be.
You might not know where you’re going to live, who you’re going to be supporting, or whether or not you need a new job. But you can still set goals.
This is where your divorce lawyer comes in very handy. You need to have a frank conversation with them to try to ascertain what can be reasonably expected for settlement, and what their goals and expectations are for your settlement.
And you can be prepared. Have rough goals for what your life will look like if things turn out better than expected during the trial, worse than expected, or as expected.
If your spouse used to be the person who took care of all the financial details, now would be a good time to look into getting an accountant and financial advisor before you put ink to any separation papers.
And the older you are when you’re divorced, the more the financial sting can be. 80% of people who divorce after 50 have had to delay their retirement because of a divorce.
But it doesn’t necessarily have to be that way if you’re prepared and you have a plan.
Even when you feel your worst, this is a massive opportunity to better yourself. Envision what you want your life to be like leading up to signing your separation papers and after.
The key is setting the right type of personal goals. Don’t be too vague. I want to be a better parent is in Noble and admirable goal. But you need to be able to quantify the success of that somehow.
You need to set smart goals. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-limited.
Attaching these qualifiers to a goal will help you achieve them by keeping you accountable and showing you exactly what success looks like.
- “I want to be a better parent” is good. “I want to take the kids out for at least one special activity a week, starting immediately” is better.
- “I want to focus on my career” is good. “I want 20% more sales commissions over the next six months” is better.
- “I want to get in shape” is good. “I want to join a gym by the end of the month, and then go three times per week” is better.
- “I want to keep my drinking under control” is good. “I want to limit myself to zero drinks during the week and 3 over the weekend” is better.
Setting SMART goals is the best way to ensure you’re not just floundering aimlessly.
Step 3. Get Your Documents Together
A lot of work often needs to go into signing separation papers. This is why you need to work with an experienced divorce lawyer, so you can make sure all the paperwork is complete and no deadlines are missed.
This is far from an exhaustive list, but some of the documents you may want to gather now include:
- Income Tax Returns
- Partnership and corporate tax returns
- Pay stubs
- Benefits information
- Financial Records
- Bank statements
- Monthly expense reports
- Investment properties and rental (or lease) agreements
- Bankruptcy papers
Personal/ Legal Documents:
- Deeds to the home/ rental agreements
- Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
- Wills and Trust Agreements
- Date of marriage
- Date of birth and social security numbers for you, your spouse, children
- Insurance policies
- Life/ Car/ Home insurance
Again, you may need to provide even more than this. But your lawyer should advise you on what you need.
Step 4. Make Yourself a Priority
This is the step that too many people skip. Don’t lose sight of yourself during this process.
Self is the most important, yet most neglected, part of surviving the divorce process. It’s up to you to take care of you.
The tendency is to just figuratively put your head down and plow through. Some people do nothing but think of what’s best for the kids during this process. Other may throw themselves into their work or career.
Remember, you’re in charge of your own happiness. Sure, a divorce settlement can certainly help or hurt your financial independence, and your ability to pursue a fruitful life after divorce. But that’s not the determining factor.
No matter how things pan out, you need to be the one to take care of you. And ensure you’re taking steps towards your own happiness, instead of worrying about what everyone else thinks you should be doing.
Get Help With More Than Just Separation Papers
Our attorney directory is overflowing with attorney listings, just waiting for you to find just the right one.
Simply click here to browse the lawyer listings.
In their wedding vows, couples vow to stay married until death does them part. Unfortunately, life does not always work out as planned. In the United States alone, over 800,000 people file for divorce every year.
Divorce can be a messy and frustrating process. In addition to emotional strain and custody battles, many divorced people face financial difficulties as they transition back to singlehood.
Are you facing financial challenges after ending your marriage? Then you may be surprised to learn that bankruptcy after divorce could be your best option. Here’s everything you need to know about declaring bankruptcy, and how to decide if it’s right for you.
Why File for Bankruptcy?
There are many reasons individuals may choose to file for bankruptcy after the divorce. In most cases, the decision is based on the challenge of transitioning from a dual income to a single income household.
For instance, if you used to split your rent or mortgage payments with your spouse, taking on the whole cost yourself can make it difficult to keep up with other bills. Or perhaps you and your spouse used to share a single car, and now you must cover a car payment on your own. These changes can significantly impact your disposable income.
In some cases, individuals are left with debts accrued by their ex-spouse. If your spouse racked up debt on a credit card in your name, those bills won’t go away after the divorce. In some cases, filing for bankruptcy after divorce is a better option than paying off your ex’s debts.
What Happens When You File for Bankruptcy?
When a person files for bankruptcy, they initiate a process that allows them to repay their debts under the protection of a federal program. There are two types of bankruptcy available for individuals.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as liquidation bankruptcy. This is because the bank requires the filer to liquidate and sell off certain assets to pay off their debts. In return for selling off property, unsecured debts like medical debts and credit card debts are forgiven.
Not everyone qualifies for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Individuals with sufficient income to develop a reorganization plan under Chapter 13 are required to take that option most often with the assistance of a bankruptcy attorney.
Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
By contrast, Chapter 13 is considered reorganization bankruptcy. Under this process, the debtor creates a 3-5 year plan to pay off their debt in monthly installments. At the end of the repayment period, the remaining balances on most debts are discharged.
The Automatic Stay
Once you file for bankruptcy, an injunction called an automatic stay will go into effect on your assets. This stay protects you from most lawsuits and protects most your assets from repossession by creditors. If your divorce has not been finalized, the stay may also impact proceedings regarding the division of marital property.
What are the Effects of Bankruptcy?
If you are dealing with a significant amount of debt, filing for bankruptcy might sound like a ticket to freedom. To a certain extent, bankruptcy can provide individuals with a fresh start. That said, there are drawbacks to filing that you should seriously consider.
One of the biggest impacts of filing for bankruptcy after divorce is on your credit score. Bankruptcies can impact your credit score for up to ten years. This can make it difficult for you to open new credit cards, get a car loan, or buy a new home.
Luckily, there are ways you can rebuild credit after a bankruptcy by following this guide to Section 609 credit dispute letters. For example, working with a credit union to take out an installment loan or to open a secured credit card can be a good option. While it will take time to restore your credit, it will not be impossible.
There is no form of bankruptcy that will eliminate all of your debts and payment obligations. For instance, bankruptcy will not eliminate outstanding taxes or student loan payments. Additionally, filing for bankruptcy will not free you from an obligation to pay child support.
How Will Bankruptcy Impact My Ex-Spouse?
If you file for bankruptcy, the effect it has on your ex-spouse depends on how your assets were structured.
In some ways, your spouse will be unaffected. For instance, if you file for bankruptcy, that will not impact your spouse’s credit report in any way, even if you had joint debts.
That said, filing for bankruptcy does not free your spouse of their debt obligations. So, if you have a joint debt, your spouse may be held responsible for the entire debt after you file for bankruptcy.
What if My Spouse is Filing For Bankruptcy?
If you are on the other side of the equation, wondering how your ex-spouse’s bankruptcy will affect you, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. For instance, filing for bankruptcy protection can protect you from being held solely responsible for joint debts.
If possible, you should discuss these issues with your spouse before filing for divorce. Filing for a joint bankruptcy, or filing for bankruptcy separately before the divorce, might be a better financial option for both of you.
Getting the Representation You Need
Whether you or your spouse is planning to file for bankruptcy, it is essential to work with a professional. This will ensure that your interests are protected.
When dealing with these kinds of complex financial issues, it is a good idea to work with a law firm with a broad range of expertise. For example, the Wiseman Lee law group has attorneys that specialize in both family law and corporate law. This range of knowledge makes these professionals well suited for working with couples in the process of divorce.
Get Help With Bankruptcy After Divorce
Filing for bankruptcy after divorce can be a challenging process. But if it is the right choice for you, it will be well worth it in the end.
Do you need help navigating your divorce? Then check out our legal directory. The attorneys in our listings are all qualified professionals who can assist you with your legal needs.