Child custody can be a tricky situation during the process of a divorce. You may have the preconceived notion that custody is typically granted to the mother of the child/children because this falls under the umbrella of tradition. However, the most important aspect for determining custody should, and will be, which parent offers the best possible environment for the child.
So how does a parent establish and display that he/she is the best option?
Stability, safety, and a nurturing atmosphere are some of the key elements that a judge will take into consideration before awarding custody. Women traditionally have taken on a predominant role providing children with food, watching over them during times of illness, making doctor’s appointments and overseeing their education. Due to this, mothers are often closer to children at an early age and an emotional bond forms more easily.
If a father wants to be granted custody following divorce, their best chance is to demonstrate that he not only is fully capable of being a good parent, but that he also has a proven track record of providing these crucial services that were historically left in the hands of stay at home mothers.
Furthermore, if the father has reason to believe that his ex-wife is engaging in questionable behavior, he can use this information against her to strengthen his case. Such bad behavior might include alcohol or drug abuse, irresponsible partying, suspicious friends, child neglect, etc.
The father must establish a pattern of unsettling behavior, and by doing so, his chances of retaining custody will increase given that the best interest of the child/children is of the utmost importance within the legal system.
The court will not simply accept the father’s word that she is living a lifestyle that is not conducive of having Primary Custody but hiring a private investigator to document and verify these actions via an extended period of surveillance will serve a weighty piece of evidence.