For many father’s who seek joint or primary custody, there is the belief that they are predisposed to an outcome. However, Indiana’s divorce statute is gender neutral and father’s are prevailing on custody claims in Indiana courts who focus on the children’s best interests. To make your best case, here at four tips.
Perception is reality. Many, if not most, father’s today have work schedules that are more conducive to sharing custody, working from home, flexible hours, and the like. However, if you go into your case with the notion father’s are not on equal footing with mother’s it is a defeating proposition. With a positive mindset this is not so, it will help you remember the critical details of parenting you have done along the way. It is not what you want, but why you want it. Many father’s are simply on equal caregiving grounds with Mother’s but don’t think about it that way. Think about all of the care you have provided and be able to tie it with the child(ren) from birth.
What you want and way it will work. Perhaps one of the biggest shortfalls of fathers who seek custody or joint time is that they do not put forth a plan in the evidence of why it will work. In other words, have a plan for the court for your desire that is possible to work. Show on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis how your plan will work with drops offs/pick ups and the school calendar.
Best interest filter. As litigants it is very easy to get off track and default to criticizing the other parent. This is a recipe for disaster. Instead, have every word you testify to and every exhibit you offer to be one that is in the children’s best interests. This is what the Indiana trial courts are charged to do.
Possessory words. Do not underestimate the power of testimony and how you perceive yourself and the other parent. Words like “my children” and the host of variants diminish the other parent and often are clear signals to the court that the other parent is the better custodian of the children because he or she does not have this viewpoint and will facilitate the other parent’s relationship with the children.
Using these tips will help you provide the court with the best road map to help you reach your legal objective. This blog post is written by attorneys from Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. It is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for representation. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys practice throughout the State of Indiana.