In Pennsylvania, family courts base their custody determinations on what is in the best interest of the child, with no presumption that a mother or father will inevitably be given full or partial custody. Although Pennsylvania law is supposed to be gender-neutral when it comes to granting custody, the family law attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad understand that it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle for fathers seeking custody of their children. These tips can help you stay focused on what’s important and may increase the likelihood of you getting custody of your children.
Stay Involved In Your Child’s Life
Caring for your children’s basic needs should be a given. However, being actively involved in your child’s life helps to show that you are dedicated to being a parent who’s present for their kids. Attending school conferences and doctor’s appointments, going to extracurricular activities, and talking to your children about their interests and friends can go a long way when a judge is deciding whether to grant custody to a parent.
Use Technology With Caution
Being on your best behavior when it comes to using technology during a divorce or custody battle is critical. Emails, texts, voicemails, and social media create a record of practically everything you do or say. Post photos with caution – even an innocent night out or a beer with friends can be portrayed in a negative light by your co-parent. You may as well consider social media posts, texts, emails, and voicemails public. Custody and divorce lawyers are well-versed in online research and will take any opportunity they can to use any form of media as evidence against you.
Stay Calm And Respectful
It’s extremely important to watch what you do and say in “real life” as well. If you’re a father who’s concerned with getting custody of your children, you want to show the court that you are stable. If you feel like you may lose your temper, avoid having outbursts in front of your children, your ex, other parents, teachers, neighbors, and friends. While most parents lose it and explode once in a while, during a custody dispute, this behavior may be portrayed as volatile or abusive.
Don’t Disparage Your Child’s Co-Parent
Parents who demonstrate that they support an ongoing relationship between their children and the other parent can have an advantage in the courtroom. If you demonstrate that you understand the value of your child’s relationship with your child’s other parent and encourage it, the court will usually look upon these actions favorably. Constantly disparaging your ex or trying to influence your child’s relationship with their other parent can be detrimental to your custody case. One of the best things fathers can do when attempting to get custody is to show the court that your child’s best interests are at the forefront. Being unkind or overly critical when talking about your ex can also be emotionally damaging to your children.
Seek Treatment For Addiction Issues
Using alcohol or drugs can completely derail your custody case. Pennsylvania courts take allegations of substance abuse very seriously and will investigate them. You may be subject to drug testing, psychological evaluations, and other examination. If you’re suffering from a substance use disorder, seek professional help.
Talk To Your Family Law Attorney
Child custody and divorce cases involve a range of complex interpersonal, situational, legal, and financial factors. Dealing with these issues can be extremely stressful, but it’s important to remember that the emotional upheaval affects the whole family, especially your children. Before taking any personal or legal action regarding custody matters, speak with your attorney. The consequences of what may seem like an innocent mistake can be far-reaching and jeopardize a father’s chances of getting custody of their children. Listen to your attorney’s advice and remember that your legal team’s job is to protect your rights and fight for your children’s interests. Because custody cases can be so emotionally charged and contentious, it’s easy to lose sight of what you’re fighting for. An experienced child custody lawyer will provide support, an objective perspective, and solid legal advice that can help you stay on track throughout the process and achieve positive results.
Contact A Child Custody Attorney To Schedule A Consultation
Whether you’re a mother or father who is concerned about getting custody of your children, our family law attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad can evaluate your case and advise you of your options. Our Lehigh Valley and Poconos lawyers are experienced in conflict resolution and strive to help families resolve custody matters in a fair and expedient manner. Call us at 610-867-2900 in Bethlehem or contact us online to schedule a consultation. We have several locations throughout eastern Pennsylvania.