Child custody is one of the most important responsibilities during a divorce. Most of the time, child custody is given to the mother according to the ‘tender year’s doctrine’. This law was established in the 1800s, which stated that mothers were the only capable and responsible parents.
The custody decision highly depends on how society treats fathers. Speaking of society, society has always devalued fathers as parents. However, over the years parenthood has evolved. A father shouldn’t worry as there are ways in which they can get sole child custody. For this, the father has to prove that they are the ‘best interest standard’ of the child. Below are a few ways in which fathers can build their custody case:
The decision of the court depends on how the child is related to the father. The child-father relation can be biological or legal. For example, in a case where a father is not married to the mother, but the mother is married to another man, the court tends to rule out the option of the father’s biological relationship with the child and gives more weightage to the married one. Also, if a father is not married to the mother or does not sign a paternal agreement, they cannot have any legal rights concerning their child.
- Primary caregiver role
A primary caregiver is a person who takes care of the child’s health, education, safety, and other needs. First, the court judges which one of the parents can handle these tasks effectively. Here, a father must show active engagement in taking care of the child medically, academically, etc. It is often believed that a child is strongly bonded with a stay-at-home parent. A change in the behavior of the caregiver also can give some distress to the child. This is one of the main reasons the courts focuses on the ‘best interests’ of the child.
A parent’s work and family balance are not sufficient enough to prove that they can bond with the child. Therefore, the child’s relationship with a working parent is judged by the court. This will also be advantageous for the working parent as they can show that their relationship with the child is not altered because of the child’s aptitude ability.
Mothers usually take part in the activities such as parents conference, school plays, doctor’s appointments, etc. Also, according to research, only 48% of fathers carry out such activities once a year. Therefore, a parent must actively participate in all such activities.
- Home environment
The courts will compare the home environments of both parents and will determine which home is better for the child. The determination of ‘better’ is dependent on factors such as the distance of the school from home, growth, development, etc.
Research shows that children who are in great relationships with their fathers have excellent academic and employment performance. Therefore, a father is an important factor in the child’s development. To make the child custody case more strong, a father must opt for a child custody lawyer in Peoria, IL.