The court gives fathers the same legal rights as mothers when it comes to deciding custody in Arkansas. There are steps you can take to increase your chances of getting joint custody. A judge will ultimately decide what is best for the child, so your role as father is to demonstrate you have a place in your child’s life.
Know Your Child’s Schedule
Child custody often starts as a process of negotiation. Show the decision-maker you want to be an active part of your children’s lives by knowing their day-to-day routine. In order to maximize the amount of time you have with your children, sketch out a grid of your own schedule so you can clearly see how a custody arrangement will work in real life. By paying attention to your child’s schedule, you can prevent long gaps where you do not have contact with your children.
Make Peace with Your Child’s Mother
Getting to a child custody agreement depends on your ability to communicate with your children’s mother. By demonstrating you can remain civil, you can convince a decision-maker that you can constantly negotiate issues involving the children. Emotions run high in child custody cases, and maintaining a cool head can be difficult. But by keeping the peace and being amenable, you reduce stress on the children and increase the probability you can get a favorable custody arrangement from the outset.
Don’t Discuss Child Support
Child support is closely linked to custody, but it can raise a red flag if you imply to the court that you want custody in order to pay less. Following the advice of your lawyer, keep issues of child support as separate as possible from child custody. That way, you can focus on the importance of parenting arrangements to your children’s well-being, without focusing on your financial interests.
Hire a Family Lawyer to Make Your Case
You typically only have one chance to negotiate a child custody arrangement that gives you equal time with your children. If you are like many fathers, you have never been down this road before and don’t know how to protect your interests. A family lawyer can make your argument, for you using past experience with the family law system in Arkansas.
Mann & Kemp is your law firm for family law cases in central Arkansas. Our experienced attorneys have your best interest in mind, as well as your child’s. We utilize a team approach, so you will have a team of lawyers backing you up. If you are a father looking to gain custody of your child, contact us and schedule a meeting with a member of our team by calling (501) 859-6183.