Many couples would love to raise their children in a two-parent household, but unfortunately, it does not always work out. When you separate from your spouse or significant other, the mother often has sole custody of the children. Some mothers use this to their advantage, and they try to limit the time children spend with their father.
If you are the father in the relationship, then you may think your rights are limited. Read on to find out how fathers can get regular visitations with their children.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you want to pursue joint custody, then you should talk to a child custody lawyer. Your lawyer explains your rights and helps with filing documents. He or she works as your advocate in mediation. Most attorneys recommend going to mediation before going to a court hearing. Mediation is a smaller and friendlier setting for working out custody issues. The cases are decided by a neutral third party.
File a Shared Custody Agreement
You can start the child custody process by filing a shared custody agreement. This agreement needs to be filed in your local family court. It gives you the platform to show a judge why you deserve regular visitations.
Attend a Custody Hearing
After filing a petition for custody, a court hearing is scheduled for both parents. You have to go before the judge on this date. The judge will hear from you and the mother of your child. After hearing both sides, a decision is made about child custody.
Build a Strong Relationship
Being a father is not a part-time job. You must be involved in every aspect of your child's life. It means calling daily when your child is not in your custody. You should also drop by the school to introduce yourself to the administration. It helps to check on your child's progress in school. If your child needs help with homework, then you should offer assistance.
You have to prove that you are a fit parent. Being fit means having a stable environment for your child to live in. You make decisions on the behalf of your child. Your judge also will consider the type of relationship that you have with the other parent. It helps to try to co-parent with the mother of your child.
Parents have to fight for their children. Legal joint custody allows you to make decisions about your child's education, welfare, and health. It helps to seek legal advice from a child custody lawyer, such as Hart Law Offices, PC, and start preparing for your case.