Common Mistakes Fathers Make Prior To And During A Fight For Child Custody
When a relationship with your partner has ended and you believe that obtaining custody of your minor child is in their best interests, it's important to be aware that your recent and current actions can have an enormous impact on the court's determination. For example, if you start a serious romantic relationship too quickly, the judge may perceive that negatively. Not paying enough child support can similarly reflect badly on you. As a result, if you've made those errors, it's essential to speak with a child custody attorney to see what can be done to improve the situation.
Moving On To (Or In With) A New Love Too Quickly
One of the aspects that courts often look at when assessing the best living situation for minor children is the consistency of the home situation for both parents. Another aspect is frequently how well the child in question might adjust to a new living situation. When allowing for those two concerns, it's easy to see that bringing a new romantic partner into your home or life can be very stressful for your son or daughter at what is undoubtedly a difficult situation already.
Even if your new romantic partner does not live with you, the courts might question whether having an unrelated party around your minor child is in his or her best interests. In addition, you should be aware that there is the potential for a background check to be requested for anyone who spends time with your child. By extension, you'll want to make sure that there is nothing problematic in the background of the person you're dating. Private investigators might even be brought in to assess background issues of a new person.
If issues are found by the courts, your child's other parent, or the opposing attorney, your child custody lawyer can advise you as to your options. Sadly, they could be limited.
Failing To Adequately Support Your Child
One common mistake that many dads have made is failing to pay adequate child support from the time that they are no longer sharing a home with the child. That might occur by either not paying child support at all or paying an amount that is not commensurate with the needs of the child.
Although it's not unusual to believe that waiting for a court order for support or a determination of custody is acceptable, the truth is that your child needs access to support and guidance by both parents. Since he or she will not quit eating, growing, learning, etc. during the custody dispute and all of those events require funding, be sure that you can provide proof of your financial responsibility to your child.
That includes writing checks or paying with money orders with receipts that you can produce upon request. If you have not been fastidious about child support until now, talk with your child custody attorney to see what corrective steps can be taken.
In conclusion, the life choices you make before and during a fight for child custody can easily convince the courts that you should be a weekend dad, at best. Therefore, it's important to consult with a child custody attorney, such as Kenneth J. Molnar, to determine what can be done to minimize the damage from any mistakes that you may have already made.