Many fathers living in Michigan, and around the country, assume that they will be unable to gain custody of their children after a divorce or separation. This is no longer true, however, and there are steps that a father can take to achieve the parenting arrangement that is in the best interest of his children.
Reasons to seek custody
In many cases, the courts assign joint custody so that each parent remains involved in their child’s life. In some situations, however, a child’s well-being necessitates one parent having sole legal or physical custody. These situations typically involve a parent who is mentally ill, abusive, addicted to drugs or alcohol or involved in criminal activity.
Steps to take
If a father believes that he should have custody of his children, he can begin to prepare his father’s rights case. He should first establish indisputable paternity. If there is any question about the child’s paternity, a father should request a DNA test.
Document all of the time that you spend with your child and any expenses involved in their care. Family court judges are interested in the relationship between parent and child, particularly the care a parent provides to their children. This could include the time you spend with the children and details about your involvement in day-to-day activities such as bathing, dressing, eating meals or helping with schoolwork.
The court wants first and foremost for the child to live in the safest possible environment. Fathers should describe the environment that they can provide their child while documenting any known issues in the other parent’s home.
These are just a few factors that can create a strong case for father’s custody. Working with a child development specialist, a counselor, or a private detective may provide fathers with the evidence they need to prevail in court.
Fathers play a vital role in the growth and development of their children. Outdated stereotypes should not dissuade them from seeking custody of their children.