As a father, taking full custody of your child (or children) is almost always challenging. There must be sound reasons for this action, which usually involves the safety or well-being of your offspring.
However, it’s a very doable legal goal for fathers to get sole custody of their children, but you must have your legal “ducks in a row.”
As a Father, How Can I Build a Custody Case for My Child?
Most importantly, you will have to prove to the Arkansas courts that the child’s mother, who currently has custody, is unfit for the job.
The Arkansas court must also be sure that you, as the father, meet the “best interest standard” for your child. Simply put, if the court grants you full custody, then it must be in the “best interests of your child.
Additionally, there usually are aspects of these types of custody cases where you, as the father, may have to prove an additional burden of proof that the mother does not. Some added factors may include your paternity, your fitness for a primary caretaker role, and the home environment you could provide.
If you have a reason for fighting for full custody, important current information could add to your cause.
In our society, it’s never easy to separate a child from their mother, and she probably will have an unseen “edge” that you don’t have. Admittedly, the value of fathers is not stressed enough in our current culture. However, current facts show us that having a caring, thoughtful, and guiding father are vital to a child’s development.
For example, children with close relationships with their fathers are twice as likely to enroll in college or find stable employment after high school. Seventy-five percent are less likely to have a teen pregnancy, and approximately eighty percent less likely to be incarcerated or have symptoms of depression.
So, when you and your aggressive and knowledgeable Arkansas child custody lawyer wage this fight, this current information is significant and may help you win. This is especially true if the mother is unfit for the job.
It’s never easy for a father to mount a successful custody case, and the knowledge, experience, and guidance of an Arkansas child custody lawyer is mandatory.
How Can I Show That My Ex-Wife Is Unfit for Custody?
As stated, this is never an easy task, but with the help of a qualified and thorough Little Rock or Fayetteville custody lawyer, it can be done.
There are everyday things the Arkansas court will look for to determine if your ex-wife is unfit to care for your child; some of these things are:
- Any history of child abuse by the mother.
- A history of substance abuse by the mother.
- Any history of domestic violence while your child is in her care.
- Is the mother able to make age-appropriate decisions or communicate effectively with her child?
- Does the mother have any concerning psychiatric conditions that may affect her child’s well-being?
You must note that every custody case differs in its details and urgency, and the above are only some items needed to prove the mother is unfit.
Most importantly, the court needs absolute proof that your child may be in danger or, at the least, that their overall well-being is being threatened.
By working closely with an empathetic and caring Arkansas child custody lawyer, you both can work to gather the proper evidence needed to prove, and win, your custody battle.
If My Ex-Wife is Unfit, How Can I Obtain the Proof That’s Needed?
This is an essential point and highly pertinent to your custody case. You, your relatives, and your lawyer may know that your ex-spouse is unfit for custody, but how do you prove it?
You must have factual evidence to exhibit to the court and always appreciate the importance of having the proof you require.
There are things your lawyer will do to gather the needed proof, such as:
- Gather first-hand testimony from friends, family, teachers, and others in your child’s life.
- Use expert witnesses that may include physicians, psychologists, counselors, etc.
- Produce photographs or videos of various infractions and include both school and medical records.
- Include photos and written details of home visits, inspections, and more, showing the environment the child resides in.
Be aware that you, family and friends, teachers, and more may be familiar with and convinced that the child’s mother is unfit to care for your child, but you must prove this fact!
The courts always want the best for the child and will usually always side with the parent that will provide the best environment and emotional support for the child to grow and thrive in.
What Are Some “Tips” That Could Help Me Win My Custody Case?
As a father who wants sole custody of your child, you must be prepared to face a tough challenge. However, there are things you can do to show the court that you are the best choice for this vitally important job.
Some of these points are:
- Remain fully involved in your child’s life – For example, be a continually active parent and attend school meetings, pick them up from school, bring them to doctor’s appointments, attend sports activities, etc.
- Keep accurate records – Document everything from when you decide to part ways with your wife. This proof is vital, and you must have it to prove your spouse’s unfair or negligent behavior.
- Don’t hide or conceal your income – If your income is far superior to your ex-spouse, your child custody lawyer needs to know about it. Your higher earnings will mean you are better positioned to provide for your child.
- Obtain personal references – Show the court that you are a solid, caring, and a good parent. However, you can’t only do this verbally but obtain written statements from relatives and other people pertinent to your positive actions.
- Be strong in your fight and work to meet its challenges – Be prepared to fight because you’re going to have to. You and your lawyer must prove to the court that you understand your children’s needs, routines, and emotional requirements and you’re prepared to care for them in every possible way.
As a Father, I Want Full Custody Of My Child; How Should I Proceed?
Be aware from the beginning of this battle that it won’t be easy! Also, a vital part of winning your case will be choosing the right Arkansas child custody law team.
Your family lawyer must understand the challenges fathers face in getting full custody of their children.
Consult and work with a Little Rock or Fayetteville family lawyer who fights for fathers’ rights and will aggressively ensure to fight for your and your children’s rights. Be aware that you are dealing with a court system that for decades has favored mothers, and make sure your lawyer will stand by your side from the beginning to the successful end of your case.