The Three P's of Child Custody

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Fathers who want to obtain, or increase, their visitation and custody orders need to keep in mind the following three topics. They can make or break your chances of getting the orders issued by the judge. Most fathers start out a custody case at a disadvantage. When dad moves out, the children are left with mom, and that becomes the way the court is inclined to keep the situation. The moment that dad moves out of the family home, is the moment that mom gains an advantage in child custody hearings.

THE THREE P’s OF CHILD CUSTODY:
PROXIMITY, PAPERWORK, AND PERSISTENCE


Fathers who want to obtain, or increase, their visitation and custody orders need to keep in mind the following three topics. They can make or break your chances of getting the orders issued by the judge. Most fathers start out a custody case at a disadvantage. When dad moves out, the children are left with mom, and that becomes the way the court is inclined to keep the situation. The moment that dad moves out of the family home, is the moment that mom gains an advantage in child custody hearings.

Here’s why, the courts don’t want to upset the children’s living environment. They focus on keeping the child stable, and that means in their historical home. This is why women work so hard to force men from the home. This is also why men need to be aware of the risks of Temporary Restraining Orders, and the need to fight them. (See my article on this at WWW.MensFamilyLaw.WORDPRESS.COM)

So how then does a man recover from the mistake of moving out of the house? He must show to the court that he can effectively parent the child, with as little disruption to the child’s routine as possible. He does this by using the three P’s – Proximity, Paperwork and Persistence.

PROXIMITY

This means how far or close dad lives to the child’s current home and school. This is a major factor in increasing, or acquiring, custody and visitation. The closer dad is to the current home and school, the more easily he can be present for the child, and the courts give this great weight. If the choice is for a child to be in a car for five minutes getting from mom’s home to school or a 25 minute drive from dad’s home, the court is going to prefer mom’s home. It is also more likely that the child’s friends and social network is close to the school they attend, which is a factor for the court.

PAPERWORK

Cases are won or lost on documentation. Dads should keep a Calendar or a diary of all the time that they are with their child. In any contested cases you can bet that mom has something, real or made up, that she will use to show the court how little time dad spends with the kids. Something as simple as a calendar which shows the days that dad took his child, and what they did on those days can make all the difference for a change in custody. If dad keeps the receipts for what he did with his child, and either staples them or paperclips them to the calendar, it will allow his lawyer to prove that he took the child to see the movie Cars on a day when mom says he didn’t visit. This is a crucial credibility issue, and one that a little bit of work by dad, can yield big gains. By showing that mom is lying on a couple of her dates, when she says that dad didn’t show up, you’ve knocked the legs out of her case. The court will see that dad is telling the truth, and you’ve come a long way towards winning at least the credibility wars, and that can lead to winning more time with your child.

PERSISTENCE

The single, biggest factor that effects whether or not a dad will win more visitation or even equal custody is his ability to come back, time and time again. The successful dad in family court is the dad who never gave up, and was willing to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult it was, or how long it took, to prove to the court that he wants to be a loving, attentive and present dad.

To put this into man language, it’s the short game, versus the long game view. When you focus on getting just this next goal achieved, if you fail, you’re likely to give up. Whether it is the next down, the next at bat, or the next stroke in golf, but if you keep your eye on the goal of making a touchdown, a homerun or coming in under par, you’re more likely to keep going, if you fumble, strike out or find the water hazard.

CONCLUSION
The successful dad, who wants to increase his custody and visitation, will live close to his child, keep good records, and never give up when dealt a bad hand.

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”