As a father, it is crucial that you stay present in your child’s life–especially after a divorce. While mothers may have been more likely to receive primary custody of their children years ago, Kentucky laws today favor joint custody when it is in the child’s best interests.
That said, there are still steps you can take to pursue the custody arrangement you want as a father.
Establishing effective communication
If you are a father seeking fair custody of your child, you must be willing to communicate respectfully with your ex-spouse. A judge will consider multiple factors when deciding on custody arrangements, but it is crucial that the judge sees you as a parent who can be respectful to the mother of your child.
Good communication can show the courts that you encourage and support a healthy and loving relationship between your child and their other parent. For example, don’t use your child to pass messages or keep secrets from the other parent, and don’t badmouth your ex around your child.
Demonstrating effective communication skills can also make it clear that you can and will comply with the court’s orders.
Prioritizing the child’s best interests
As a parent, you must consider your child’s needs and preferences when navigating custody arrangements.
One way to prioritize your child’s best interests is to work toward making the divorce process as smooth as possible. Divorce is a stressful event for spouses, much more so for children. Steps like resolving matters in mediation rather than litigation can have considerable benefits for your child.
The courts will take into account your willingness to act upon the needs of your child as opposed to your own needs.
Showing you are a positive, loving parent
Custody determinations can hinge on the relationship you already have with your child.
You should be prepared to demonstrate your capacity to participate and be involved in your child’s school and extracurricular activities. You can show you know about your child’s preferences and daily schedule and are familiar with their social, medical and emotional needs.
Your active presence and dedication as a father play a vital role in shaping your child’s future. By knowing what you can do to improve your chances of a fair custody arrangement, you can achieve a satisfactory outcome.