Fathers in Texas who want to get custody of their children might improve their chances of a successful outcome by preparing in advance. Since courts make child custody decisions in the best interests of the children instead of the parents, thorough documentation showing the type of relationship the fathers have with their children and the amount of time they spend with them is critical. Here are some tips for fathers who are going through child custody cases.
What to document
Fathers should document each time they have their children. Having a record showing that a father has spent a significant amount of time with his children can demonstrate the father’s commitment to them. Fathers should also document their attendance at their children’s activities, including parent-teacher conferences, sporting events, and other important extracurricular activities. Fathers should also continue paying child support while their cases are pending. If they do not have formal child support orders, they should keep receipts and canceled checks to show that they are financially supporting their children. To prepare for a child custody hearing, fathers should write down answers to questions they might be asked, including whether they have adequate space in their homes for their children, who their children’s friends are, and whether they know their teachers.
Importance of honesty and respectfulness
Fathers should be honest with themselves and others about their ability to manage the responsibilities involved with having custody of their children. They should also treat their children’s other parents with respect. Courts want to see that parents are respectful and encourage their children to develop healthy relationships with both parents. Being rude to the other parent will not help a father’s custody case.
Fathers who want to pursue joint or full child custody may want to speak with experienced family law attorneys about the factors courts consider when they make child custody decisions. A lawyer might advise the client about the types of evidence that might be needed to support a custody petition.