Family attorneys fight hard for their clients, and they often have to help those clients navigate difficult situations. Perhaps you are divorcing your spouse, and you need help securing your financial future through alimony. Or maybe you are trying to adopt a child who has been the victim of abuse, and you need a lawyer to guide you through the legal process of gaining guardianship. A good family lawyer does not just help their clients navigate the law; they help their clients move forward into better life situations. We appreciate the work these attorneys do, and we have dedicated this blog to spread the word about their profession.
Sometimes, fathers do not take proper action to protect their rights after a divorce. They believe, often by mistake, that the outcome will always favor the mother. While child support, custody, and alimony laws are complex and vary by circumstance, there are some things you can do to make everything easier. Here are some things you should know:
Work to Get a Fair Custody and Visitation Arrangement
If you and your former spouse have children together, custody and visitation is an important part of your divorce settlement. Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, this process can be difficult for fathers. Many men assume that the mother will automatically get child custody. However, both parents are eligible for custody as long as they are fit.
You, your former spouse, and your divorce lawyers should work out an arrangement on your own. You should speak up for what you want in the process to ensure you get a fair say. If you have any concerns, make those known as you work out the details.
Speak Carefully to Your Children
When you talk to your children and the divorce comes up as a topic, be sure to not talk disparagingly about their mother. Not only will this hurt the children, but it may make them believe they have to pick a side between the two of you. If you speak poorly about their mother and she hears about it, she could take it out on you in court.
Change Your Schedule When Necessary
One thing that trips up fathers after a divorce is the inability or unwillingness to adjust their schedules to accommodate the needs of the children. If possible, make every effort to accommodate the needs of your kids. This not only includes changes to your work schedule, which may or may not be possible, but also to your routines and your overall lifestyle. By showing that you are willing to make changes, it proves to the court that you are a good and dedicated father.
Make Your Payments on Time
If you are ordered to make any payments to your former spouse, be sure to make those payments and make them on time. This includes alimony and child support. If you are late with your payments or you fail to make them, you can face serious legal backlash. Your former spouse can take you back to court, where you could see your wages garnished or even see some time in jail, depending on your state. You can also lose custody of your children. If you cannot make your payments, you can request a payment restructure to make your payments more reasonable.