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Unmarried Dads and Custody: What You Need to Know

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A majority of single parent households across the country are headed by women. While there a number of reasons for this, it does not diminish the fact that countless fathers desperately want to be in their children’s lives and seek custody and parenting time as a result. However, many fathers feel as if they are treated as second-class citizens for seeking equal parenting time, especially if they have been intentionally shunned from their children’s lives by vindictive mothers.

Whatever the case may be, it is unfortunate that some fathers give up on the process; frustrated by the pace upon which decisions are made and how much they have to prove in order to get a fair shake. Despite this, the old adage “time and patience can empower you to do anything” rings true. With that said, this post will provide some helpful tips for unmarried dads seeking custody and parenting time.

It’s not about you – Indeed, the process may seem unfair. After all, you are learning how to be a parent just as much as mom is, even though the child may live with her. Further, there may be no legitimate reason to keep the child from seeing you, as you are a responsible hard-working person who cares just as deeply for the children as mom does. Keep in mind that the court’s concern is with the well-being of the child, not with how well you can take care of him or her.

Don’t be discouraged by disses – One of the common plays by vindictive mothers is to bate fathers into arguments and fights that can potentially ruin their custody case. Simply put, don’t fall for this trick. Keep any negative comments to yourself and off social media especially. The consequences for reacting negatively are not worth it. So as former NFL head coach Herm Edwards would say “Don’t hit send!”

Keep your eyes on the prize – The process of obtaining a court order may seem long right now, but the work invested in a couple of months may stand for years to come. So look at it as an investment in your family.

If you have additional questions about the process of establishing custody and parenting time, we invite you to contact us. We especially welcome members of the military.

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