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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

How Fathers Can Fight for Child Custody

It has been an uphill battle for fathers fighting for child custody, as courts have historically tended to favor the mother.  However, gender roles are shifting, and as more mothers take on the dual role of breadwinner and nurturer, and fathers are also shifting gears to take on a more active parenting role.  

Recently, examples of nurturing fathers have hit mainstream media, such as recently on NPR's All Things Considered. Professional baseball player Daniel Murphy of the New York Mets also garnered a lot of attention this spring when he missed his team's first two games of the season to be present for the birth of his son and to remain with his wife as she recovered from a C-section.  President Barack Obama has also taken up the issue, advocating for paid parental leave in the work place. The courts are taking notice of this shift in our society, and have begun award custody rights to fathers more often than in the past.

How can fathers in Georgia get custody of their kids?

There is no guaranteed solution, but there are very effective ways that have proven to help fathers build their case. For example:

Show Your Nurturing Side: The court is going to want to see the father has created a safe, nurturing home environment; he is dependable with schedules and events; familiar with doctors and teachers; and spends quality time with the child when in his care.

Provide Evidence: It's important for a father fighting for joint or sole custody to demonstrate he is an active and involved parent. Some examples of evidence that may be admissible to support a father's argument are original bills related to the kids, school, medical records and/or county Department of Child and Family Services (DFCS) records. In today's digital society, items such as text messages, photographs and email may also be admissible. This evidence must be obtained legally and cannot be from a third party. All evidence should be reviewed by the attorney to ensure it is admissible before presenting it in court.

Provide Witnesses: Witnesses can be a great third-party endorsement for the father. The best witnesses are neutral parties such as neighbors, school counselors, church contacts, coaches, babysitters and caseworkers. Provide the witness information to your attorney early so that the individuals may be interviewed and help to develop your case.

Keep it Positive: Courts do not appreciate parents attacking and accusing one another of unfit parenting. Presenting valid evidence that supports the father as the better parent is much more effective.

Under Georgia law, both parents enter the courtroom as equals when it comes to child custody agreements. The court will make a determination as to legal and physical custody. Both types of custody can be awarded as either joint, primary, secondary or sole. If you are seeking any type of child custody in Georgia, you should consult with a local attorney that specializes in family law to help you aggressively pursue custody based on experience and proven strategies.

For more information on family law matters, email Megan Pearson at mpearson@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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