If you’re going through a divorce in the state of Utah, there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with many different emotions right now. You may be nervous, confused about the legal process, frustrated, or perhaps a combination of these. The situation can become even more complicated if you and your soon-to-be-ex spouse have children together. As a father, the last thing you want is to lose custody of your beloved children. Unfortunately, many fathers going through situations similar to yours don’t know what they can do to protect their rights in a divorce. Here’s some simple yet effective advice you should heed.
Start Keeping Records
Generally, mothers have the upper-hand when it comes to custody disputes during a divorce. However, this doesn’t mean that all hope should be lost. The key, if you plan on seeking child custody, is to prove to the court system that you are the primary caretaker. Typically, a judge will hesitate to separate a child from the spouse who has provided the most care, so be sure to keep track of this. To further boost your claim, gather witnesses (such as friends or other family members) who can attest to you being the primary caretaker of your children.
Don’t Get Into Trouble with the Law
Even if your soon-to-be-ex spouse tries to instigate a fight with you, be sure to do everything you can to stay out of trouble with the law. The last thing you need is an arrest while you’re going through the process of your divorce and custody dispute, as this will significantly lessen your chances of being granted custody. One common mistake that fathers make, for example, is taking their children out-of-state in an effort to keep them away from the mother. Not only is this bad for the child, but it could result in a child endangerment arrest as well.
Don’t Leave Home if You Don’t Have To
When you and your spouse agree to get divorced, it’s relatively common for the father to move out–whether it be into his own apartment or even temporarily into a friend or family member’s house. However, you should avoid leaving the home at all costs, as doing so can make it very hard for you to see your children until an agreement is made with the courts (which could take months). Instead, see if your spouse would be open to moving out and, if not, speak to her about the possibility of remaining in the same home (but only if you can do so peacefully).
Get the Legal Representation You Need
Ultimately, your best bet at coming to a fair custody agreement with your soon-to-be-ex spouse is to have the right legal representation. Specifically, it’ll be in your best interest to work with a divorce lawyer that has specific experience and proven success with representing fathers’ rights in custody disputes and divorces in the past. Furthermore, by working with an experienced lawyer, you’ll receive the assistance that you need through every step of the way. After all, the entire legal process surrounding a divorce can be confusing enough; throw a custody dispute into the mix and things can quickly become even more complicated.
If you’re looking for a divorce lawyer you can trust to protect your rights as a father and support your best interests in court, look no further than Wall & Wall, P.C. We’ll go above and beyond to help you through this difficult time. Plus, since we’ve been representing people in situations similar to yours since 1973, you can rest assured that we know what it takes to represent fathers. Turn to us today to set up your initial consultation and begin protecting your rights.