When going through a divorce, many men become concerned that they’ll lose custody of their children or be left in situations where they can’t be as present as they’d like. The good news is that the court systems today usually presume a 50-50 custody split unless the parents work out a different arrangement.
Fathers should keep in mind that as long as there is established paternity, then they can seek parenting time and custody under the 2021 Minnesota Statutes. Even though you may assume that a mother would have a greater chance of obtaining custody, the reality is that both parents have an important role to play in their children’s lives. The courts today consider both parents as equals.
How can fathers prepare for seeking custody?
As a father, you need to be able to show that you are invested in taking care of your child and providing for their needs. If you would like custody more than half of the time or are seeking sole custody, you will need to have strong support for your request. For example, if you can show that you live near your children’s school and have more time to help them with homework or go to events, then it may be reasonable for you to have more custody time than the mother.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared to show that you know your children’s needs. If you have to go to court, be able to show the judge that you know the basics about your child, such as their medical provider, the names of their teachers or information about their friends, likes and dislikes. Show that your home is prepared for your child to live there and that you have the time needed to care for them.
If you’re concerned that the court may rule in favor of your children’s mother and give her more time than you will receive, you should address this concern with your attorney in advance. You may want to take additional steps, such as gathering witness statements or testimonials, to help you show that you’re a parent who is there for your children and ready to continue taking on a significant role in their lives.