Most Tennessee divorced parents share legal custody of their children, and often, this type of arrangement provides the best situation for all involved, as long as both parents are willing to make it work. In some cases, for any one of a variety of reasons, one parent may petition for sole custody, and if that parent is the father, he may worry about having a difficult time in court. However, experts say family courts today see many different types of families and are not necessarily locked into traditional parenting roles. In cases where one parent has reason to fight for sole custody, courts tend to look at individual case details rather than simply gender. Fathers who want to fight for full custody can help their case by heeding the following advice.
Consider Reasons for Wanting Full Custody
Firstly, a father seeking full custody should carefully consider his reason for wanting to go this route and have a realistic idea of the commitment involved in having his kids full-time. For example, a person simply looking to punish the mother of his children may end up in a disastrous situation when he realizes what full-time parenting entails. A father who has decided with certainty he wishes to seek full custody of his child should begin by hiring an attorney he can trust to understand the legal system in his state and who can advocate for him.
Demonstrate and Document Parental Involvement
When determining custody, courts are looking for the best situation for the children. Fathers can help their case by demonstrating a strong commitment to their children, including becoming involved in their daily lives and keeping track of everyday administrative details such as medical appointments, school, extracurricular activities, etc. Experts also recommend dads document their parenting time — photos, emails, journals, and the like — as concrete evidence will hold more weight in court than voice testimony alone. It is important to note courts, with few exceptions, wants to see both parents in a child’s life, so fathers that bad-mouth their ex could seriously harm their case for custody.
Many divorced Tennessee parents share custody of their children. For many, this is the best arrangement for everyone involved, but for some, children fare better if one parent has sole custody. Divorcing fathers looking to pursue this route can begin by sitting down with an attorney with extensive knowledge of family law.