The dissolution of a marriage or long-term intimate relationship is always a difficult and emotional time, but never moreso than when a child is involved. Custody disputes are often heated, even vicious, drawing parents into ugly, drawn-out wars of increasing anger and resentment that can make it difficult for a child to maintain a healthy, balanced relationship with both parents. Fathers, especially, can come out on the negative end for a variety of reasons. This makes it imperative to gain as much knowledge and do as much preparation as possible to ensure that his rights, and his relationship with his child, are protected.
Though more fathers are being granted custody of their children, either sole custody or shared custody, many courts still favor mothers over fathers in child custody disputes. Mothers are often viewed as being the primary caregivers of children and are often better at communicating this relationship than fathers, giving them a distinct edge in a court situation. Mothers often have a more familiar relationship with potential witnesses such as teachers, babysitters, parents of the children’s friends, and others involved in the children’s lives to be viewed, and testified for, more favorably. These factors can all weigh in a mother’s favor, putting an unprepared father at a disadvantage.
An experienced family law attorney will guide a father through the legal gauntlet and represent his interests in court. However, a lawyer isn’t going to coach a father throughout a child custody process in order to best present himself to all of those who will influence the court’s final decision, such as child custody evaluators, social workers, therapists, counselors, and others who will be looking for specific indicators in their assessments of a child’s best interests. In addition, an attorney’s fees are such that this level of coaching would be cost prohibitive even if it was an effective as that from a coach who is experienced in father’s child custody cases.
An experienced coach will answer questions and provide objective guidance that can be essential to a father seeking sole or shared custody of his children. A coach will assist with presentation and preparation, providing practical information and communication techniques before interviews with influential professionals. The coach can offer assistance with knowledgeable research and strategies, to help maximize the valuable time spent with the attorney as well as assist the attorney to more successfully represent the case in court.
To ensure a father’s full rights, a good child custody attorney often isn’t enough. It requires a thorough understanding of the system along with preparation and determination to ensure the best outcome for all. A coach can be the mentor who will help guide a father to that best outcome.