In most cases, judges determine custody matters between spouses who are both pretty good parents with stable, safe homes for their child. While usually, the parents receive joint managing conservatorship, within that framework may be significant difference between how much time each parent spends with the child. The judge usually appoints one parent as the custodial parent, and fathers should know that they have just as much right to be in that role as the mother.
To prove their case in court, they may want to provide documentation and supporting arguments that demonstrate these factors that judges consider relevant when determining custody, according to the State Bar of Texas.
The judge wants to know that the custodial parent is providing the proper level of developmental support to the child based on his or her age. So, a father may point out the learning opportunities he creates for his toddler’s physical and mental development, or indicate how he helps his middle schooler to keep schoolwork organized and homework completed on time. He should also be aware of how his child is doing in school and have established contact with teachers.
Children need to spend time with other children. A dad who makes “playdates” at the park for his preschooler on Saturday mornings or takes his 10-year-old to soccer practice twice a week can easily demonstrate to a judge that he is focused on his child’s social well-being.
The divorce inevitably took a toll on the child as well as the parents, but a father with his child’s best interests in mind would rather not create a situation where the child feels compelled to take sides. Avoiding any negative talk about the other parent or about the situation is essential to this. Even though it may seem counterproductive in a custody discussion, the father should support the child’s relationship with the other parent.
The key in all things is the child’s best interests. Barring an abuse issue, the father should avoid saying what the mother does or does not do and focus only on what he does for the child.