Fathers have traditionally been at a disadvantage in the awarding of custody. In the past they have often received visitation rights and legal custody. Avoiding mistakes during a divorce, however, may increase their chances of receiving the custody arrangement they request.
A recent article has highlighted some of the more common mistakes made by fathers during divorce proceedings. One such mistake is unnecessarily increasing legal costs by engaging in unreasonable behavior and frivolously dragging on the case. Additionally, many fathers don't understand the increase in cost of living that they will experience after a divorce due to separate households and additional financial obligations such as child support. Many fathers decline to fight for more custody time even though they may be entitled to it in the interests of not upsetting their former spouse. If they have more available time, they should request it.
On the flip side, some fathers will fight for as much custody time as possible for the purpose of lowering their potential child support obligation. They should only pursue more custody time if they genuinely intend to spend it with their children. Finally, some fathers will allow past-due child support payments to pile up without taking any action to decrease their obligation and buy themselves more time. If financial circumstances change, a modification of the current child support order can be requested to reflect them.
In the past, there has been a bias in favor of mothers regarding the awarding of child custody. The awarding of custody, however, should not be based on a parent's gender, but rather the best interests of the child, which is determined using many factors. The court must consider the ability to provide a stable home, the age of a child and religious considerations and much more. All of these factors should be considered together to get a full view of what is best for a child.
The child custody arrangement will have a bearing on the awarding of child support as the custodial parent will receive payments from the and the amount may be based on the time that each parent spends with a child. As mentioned above, fathers should base their custody request on the amount of time they can spend with their child, not on the amount of child support they may be required to pay.
Source: Huffington Post, "5 Dumb Mistakes Dads Make During Divorce and How to Avoid Them," B. Robert Farzad, Feb. 15, 2014