Fathers who are going through a divorce might be concerned about their ability to get child custody. While in the past courts may have leaned toward awarding custody to mothers, today, their goal is to make the decision that is in the best interest of the child. Connecticut judges will work with parents who agree on joint custody, but there may be cases where fathers do not wish to share custody in this way. There are several things they can do to increase their chance of success.
One of the main things courts examine in a custody dispute is who the primary caregiver is. Traditionally, this is usually the mother even if both parents work outside the home. If the mother has been a stay-at-home parent, the father may face an even bigger hurdle when it comes to demonstrating their fitness for taking over these parenting duties after the divorce. Showing full participation in the child’s education, extracurricular activities and for their medical needs can help shore up a father’s case. Fathers may also want to show the strength of their relationship in general and that the child would easily adjust to living with them.
When determining custody, courts will also look at other aspects of the home environment and how beneficial they are for the child. This includes whether the child is intellectually stimulated and emotionally supported at home as well as physical elements, such as what the space is like and how close it is to school.
Unless they are themselves the stay-at-home parent, fathers seeking custody may be facing a tougher road than mothers would. However, by providing documentation of their close involvement in the child’s life and showing the court that it is the child’s best interest to be placed with the father, they may overcome the hurdles.