Lets say, you had a great marriage. A few years go by and the sparkle is gone and shine has worn off. You have kids and you have been an active, engaged father. You’re involved in a real, meaningful way and you have been emotionally connected to your children. Now you feel your marriage is starting to fall apart. It is “irrevocable broken.”
What happens if, your wife decides to call it off?
What if YOU decide to call it off?
Every father must the aware of how the family court system works so he does not inadvertently give away his rights to his children.
Here are 5 things that active fathers should know before they set foot in a courtroom:
1. Do not move out of the family home. No matter what the mother of your children does or says, under no circumstances will you agree to leave your children. Once you leave the family home, many fathers are unaware they are agreeing to become the noncustodial parent. Once this is agreed to, it is almost impossible to change. If you leave, it radically reduces your chance for custody. If your cases ever comes to litigation, you may be portrayed as a father who turned his back on the children. Once you leave, you may never get a chance to get back in. If no custody order is in place, and you move out, you are granting your spouse de facto custody of your children. If you leave, you increase the chances of immediately exposing yourself to petitions for child and spousal support. When you leave, you can potentially abandon all joint possessions and even possibly your personal possessions. There is a lot of pressure put on fathers by friends, family, colleagues and especially lawyers to force them to agree to relinquish parental rights and diminish his fundamental parental rights to care for his own children. Once you are gone, there is a slim chance of returning to the status quo. Stability in the home is what is most important.
2. Do not engage in any verbal battles. Even though it may be incredibly intense, stay under complete control. Do not engage in any kind of verbal or physical confrontation with your future ex. I know, it’s difficult being around a person who gets on your last nerves. Your partner knows how to push your buttons. It’s probably because they installed them. Find a way to disconnect the power. The best way to do that is silence. Do not say a word to your ex about anything except things that pertain to the children’s welfare. Anything else is off limits. If she becomes confrontational, walk away and avoid close contact. Make the only dialogue between the two of you be about the care and well-being of the children and the day-to-day running of the home. If your spouse provokes you and threatens you in any way, withdrawal to a safe place and call the police. If you simply must communicate directly to your spouse regarding matrimonial issues, do so in a written note.
3. Never argue in front of your children. The children love you both equally and your criticisms of one another will only confuse them. Eventually, the children will see through the criticisms. Kids tend to rebel against the trash-talking parent when they get older and see through the parent who was lying. Never argue about aspects of your case or any other major issue in front of them. This will make them more anxious. Keep the kids business separate from the business of their parents. Children need reassurance and they hate to see their parents fight.
4. Never go to any court without an experienced family attorney. If you attempt to enter court without a good family lawyer, expect a malicious beat down. I made that mistake once and it wasn’t pretty. Make sure your lawyer is an experienced family law specialist. You also must understand that fathers have equal protection under the law. Fathers serve themselves best by making themselves aware of the judicial process they will face before calling an attorney. Hold your lawyer accountable. Lawyers often are too embedded in perversions of the family court process and are afraid of harming their future status by upsetting judges. It’s highly unlikely they will give you all of your options. Judges and lawyers feel they may do as they wish because of the power and influence of radical special interest groups that profit from the denial of a father’s right to parent his children.Your attorney works for you, not the other way around. If you want to have the relationship with your children you truly desire, you must do your due diligence.
5. NEVER GIVE UP. Yes, it is true that the family court system continues to be biased in favor of mothers. It is slowly changing due to new shared parenting laws and increased advocacy from both men and women who see the adverse effects of widespread fatherlessness. Yet, the bias still exists. It is incredibly frustrating to watch family court judges, magistrates or mediators allow a mother to ramble on about her case and yet, not give a father even a moment to respond in support of his. Never get so frustrated about this that you start to lose your composure. Patience is a great virtue in family court. As hard as it may be, a father must put his emotions aside temporarily. If you are a responsible parent and put your child’s welfare first, then you have a great chance to gain custody.
I understand what fathers deal with in family court. I’ve been there. Read THIS and you’ll understand my story: Why I REFUSE to pay child support: http://www.socraddockmethod.com/2012/05/07/why-i-refuse-to-pay-child-support/
One thing I learned in my divorce was that I had options. I founded SoCraddock Method Consulting shortly after my ordeal so that fewer fathers would deal with the things I endured. I have been instrumental in offering alternatives to the typical divorce settlement for several clients.
My private consulting sessions are geared towards fathers who are about to enter a divorce or who are currently involved in legal proceedings.
Disclaimer:The SoCraddock Method is not a law firm and I am not an attorney. I cannot give legal advice or legal counsel, but I work with fathers who need to understand things that lawyers may not reveal. My approach with my clients is direct, to the point and is geared towards achieving the results that are best for you and your family. If you feel like you will wind up like every other divorced dad, think again. Most of my clients deal with the same types of situations as I dealt with a few years ago. There is a similar thread in most divorce proceedings, yet each one is unique.
If you have questions about this, my business phone is (646) 926-1430 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org