Fatherhood in Alabama looks much different today than it did even 10 years ago. Dads now take on a large portion of child-rearing duties and are often more actively involved in their kids' lives than ever before. So, do these changing norms have any effect on traditional child custody issues?
As a dad, you are probably worried about how often you will see your kids after divorce. Even as norms in the home change, family law can be slow to catch up. If you are interested in gaining primary custody of your children, you need to be prepared to prove just how involved of a father you are.
Do you know your child's schedule?
Even as fathers shift toward more active parenting, it is still usually the mom who handles the kids' schedules. If you only know where your child is when you are responsible for picking them up and dropping them off, you should take some time to memorize their schedule. This means knowing where they are and what activity they are doing, even when it is your soon-to-be ex's turn to pick them up.
Even though knowing your child's schedule is a good start, it is not necessarily enough to show that you are fully involved. Details really matter in these instances. Make sure you know the following basics:
- Who your child's pediatrician is
- Names of their friends and their parents
- Teachers' names
- Extracurricular activities and interests
Keep hurtful comments to yourself
Do not sabotage your chances of getting primary custody by badmouthing your ex to your child. After all, your ex-spouse is also your child's other parent. Doing so can cause an incredible amount of psychological damage to a kid who is already dealing with his or her parents' divorce.
Your kids are not the only ones who will feel put off by these types of comments. Most family law judges do not look kindly on this type of behavior and may take it into consideration when making custody decisions.
Your time with your children matters
Spending time with your kids is invaluable, and you already know that things are going to change after divorce. This is why being proactive during the process and showcasing your great fathering skills is so important.
Most Alabama dads can reach an agreeable child custody arrangement with their ex, but sometimes, this is simply not possible. If you have to go before a family law judge, consider seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney who will uphold your child's best interests.