Your wife came to you asking for a divorce. You were happy to give it to her, because you knew that she wasn't happy. What you didn't expect her to do was to tell you that she was going to fight for sole custody of your child.
That statement immediately put you into a defensive mode. It made you want to be aggressive with the divorce. You're angry that she suggested that you couldn't be a good parent to your child. She thinks she should get full custody only because she's your child's mother.
As a dad who is about to become a single parent, it is your right to see your child. It is highly unlikely that one parent could get sole custody without significant documentation proving that the other parent was dangerous or neglectful.
Still, if you are worried, then there are some steps that you can take to try to get more custody time. Some excellent tips for building up your custody case include:
- Providing witness statements and letters of support to the judge, who will use them to learn how other people see you as a parent
- Documenting all the things you do with your children, such as coaching their teams or cooking them dinner
- Proving your knowledge of your children's needs, such as medical needs or special schooling requirements
- Showing that you have the financial support needed to provide for your child in your home
- Preparing your home and showing images of the bedroom that you've created for your child's personal space
In court, you should:
- Always arrive on time
- Keep your calm, and pay attention to the judge
- Never interrupt
- Dress nicely, wearing a suit
- Be prepared to answer questions about your children
Knowing that your spouse intends to attempt to take your child away is an awful feeling to have to live with, but fathers also have rights. The more your spouse fights to limit your custody rights, the more you need to do to show that you are the respectful, calm parent who has your children's best interests at heart. If your spouse sends any rude, negative or threatening messages to you, make sure you keep them, because you can give them to the court to show that they are not willing to work with you or be responsible when it comes to setting up a custody schedule to share time with your child.