As a divorcing father, you may fear that the court will have a gender bias. You may assume you will get minimal access to your kids no matter what. Thankfully, this is not true. You have important rights that you need to exercise as a dad.
It is possible to get joint custody of your children. Here are some tips for increasing your chances of receiving equal parenting time:
1. Fight for custody from the start
You may assume being overly-lenient will make you look better in the eyes of the family court, but this may backfire. While you do not want to be completely unreasonable and combative, you should not give your wife too much leeway. If you do this, it will be hard to fight for more parenting time later. Show your true intentions and desires from the beginning.
2. Do not be a pushover
Your soon-to-be ex-wife may try to run the show. Whatever you do, do not let your wife strong-arm you or dictate how, when or where you will see your kids. You have parental rights and deserve an equal shot at parenting time. If she interferes with your rights, make sure you take notes of these instances, as you may be able to use them in court.
3. Do not give in to intimidation
People may try to convince you that you do not have a chance at a favorable custody outcome, and your wife may not be the only one who tries to get you to back down. You may hear well-meaning advice from your friends or read fear-mongering blogs online. Do not let any of these outside opinions dissuade you from what you know is best for you and your kids.
It may be an uphill battle at times, but it is a worthy climb. If you fight for your rights to parenting time from the start, you may get a good outcome.