It still amazes me that to this day, with all of the arguments about gender equality, that fathers still believe that they do not have equal rights to their children. In Nevada, our custody laws have gone so far as to reiterate that preference is not given to a parent based on gender. In English, this means that mothers are not preferred over fathers. Father’s rights in child custody cases are equal to those of the mother. This article offers some tips on how to best protect your rights if you are father involved in a custody case.
1. Insist on equal time from the very beginning: It is important to establish your parental rights from the very beginning of the case. Do not be bullied or duped into believing that simply because your ex is the mother, that you aren’t entitled to equal time. The law demands that both parents have equal time from the very beginning. If you are father involved in a custody battle, you should insist on equal time from the start. If you don’t do this, the mother can use it against you are a later date to cut down your custodial time.
2. Be consistent with your visits: Consistency is key here. If you say you are going to exercise the time with your children, exercise the time. If you are missing visits, are late to visits or bringing the kids back early from visits, you better believe that the other side is going to be keeping track and will try to use this to cut down your time. Be consistent with visits and exercise your time regularly. If you have to miss a visit or cut a visit short, ask for make up time. Keep records and document everything.
3. No violence, ever. We have repeated this in almost every article we write, and we are repeating it again. A conviction of domestic violence creates a legal presumption that you should not get even half of the time with your child. There is simply no excuse for violence and it will be used against you to take custody away.
4. Make sure you have a safe, stable place for your kids. This is true for both parents but, sadly, father’s are more under the microscope in Court than mothers. Make sure you have all of the age appropriate items at your home whether it is a crib, car seat or highchair. Be sure you have a safe environment for children to be in and that your home is child-proofed if need be.
5. Get Good Legal Advice. Find an attorney that understands father’s custody rights and is on your side. Keep in mind that you are dealing with a system that historically favored mothers and even though the law is clear, there are some lawyers that will try to talk you out of your custodial rights because they simply don’t get it. Make sure your lawyer is one that has fought for father’s rights before and understands the potential prejudices a father may face in custody court.
If you or someone you know is facing a child custody battle, you need an attorney that understands father’s rights in custody cases and has fought for father’s rights. We can help. Call us today at (702) 433-2889 or fill out our on-line form for more information.