Custody Trial Challenges

There is a common misconception that custody trials are stacked against the father. While there are certainly some judges out there who take a fair approach to custody issues, and look beyond the usual gender roles associated with parenthood, they are in the minority: Most tend to assume that fathers want less to do with their children than the child's mother does. This is a gross oversimplification, but nevertheless means that courts often look down on fathers during the custody trial, making many fathers face an uphill battle to get the custody of their children that they deserve.

There are several ways for this misconception to play out over the course of a custody trial. Some are latent attitudes that need to be overcome, and others are special pitfalls that need to be avoided. Here are three of them:

Not Fighting Hard Enough for All the Time You Want

Sometimes, it can be difficult asking for what you truly want. Asking for something less than what you really want seems like a good way of making you sound mature and reasonable. However, that is not how things work in court. Cases, especially custody trials, are adversarial: One side presents their best argument, the other side presents theirs, and then the neutral third party issues a ruling. In a custody trial, asking for less time with your children than you want, or than think you deserve, only makes it seem like you are not willing to care for them.

Raising Issues of Child Support During the Custody Trial

Texas treats child custody and child support issues separately in divorce proceedings. However, it is often the case that the non-custodial parent - the one who does not receive primary custody of the child - ends up paying child support. By raising the issue of child support during a custody hearing, it often makes it seem as if you want more visitation rights so you do not have to pay as much in child support.

Overlooking How to Be a Caretaker

One of the underlying issues that contributes to fathers being looked down upon during custody trials is the idea that they cannot be as good of a caretaker for their children as their mothers. While this is a faulty assumption, it can take work to overcome it for the custody trial. Good ways to show that you would make a great caretaker for your children include:

  • Learning how to cook;
  • Keeping up to date with how they are doing in school;
  • Being there for big events like birthdays, sporting events, or rehearsals; and
  • Helping your children with day-to-day tasks like homework and chores.

How a Divorce Attorney Can Help

By representing numerous clients through the divorce process, divorce attorney Brian Turner has come to expect these difficult battles, and knows how to beat them. Call his Brazos County law office at 979-583-9200 or contact him online to tap into his extensive knowledge and experience.