Traditionally, mothers received preference when it comes to custody of the children. Now, the courts use “the best interests” of the children as a guide to awarding custody. Supposedly, this approach looks at mothers and fathers equally, but as many men in Louisiana already know, mothers still tend to receive preferential treatment.
Despite this, the role fathers play in their children’s lives has changed. As such, joint custody continues to gain popularity around the country. Regardless, courts here in Louisiana and elsewhere still seem to require fathers to fight harder for their rights as parents than mothers do. As a father, you need an attorney on your side who understands the struggles fathers go through to receive recognition as an equal parent.
How does the court determine custody?
If you and the mother of your children need the court’s intervention to resolve your custody issues, the judge considers a variety of factors in awarding custody. A judge looks at which parent provides most for the children’s safety and well-being. This includes a stable home, education and daily care, along with the emotional, physical and developmental needs of the children. Even in today’s society, women retain an edge when it comes to court decisions unless the evidence shows the mother as unfit due to an alcohol or drug problem, a criminal history or a history of abuse.
You and your attorney can gather the appropriate evidence to present to the court to support your position. Even though your rights need to be protected, remembering that the children’s needs come first and illustrating that to the court only serves to improve your position. Fighting a battle against the other parent is vastly different from fighting for your children.
Stay out of court for a better chance at a fair custody arrangement
Under ordinary circumstances, both parents admit that the other loves the children and the children love the other parent. Even though the relationship between the parents ends, they remain a family through their children. Ideally, you can work with the mother of your children to come to an arrangement that allows you to remain in your children’s lives as much as possible. Your attorneys can help you come to an agreement that benefits the children and you both.