Being a parent, as you begin the divorce process, one of the most emotional and confusing aspects may revolve around child custody decisions. Regardless of your marital problems, you love your child and want to be involved in his or her life. As a father, you may worry about the outcome of a child custody hearing. It is important to know that Pennsylvania child custody laws are gender-neutral and based on the best interests of your child.
This fact, however, does not guarantee that you will win your child custody case. Keep reading for three tips to increase your chances of success.
1. Resolve parental fitness issues
Pennsylvania courts take claims of substance abuse and addiction seriously. If your wife reports that you abuse alcohol or drugs, these claims will be investigated by the court. You may be forced to undergo drug testing or a psychological evaluation. Seek treatment for any addiction issues as soon as possible so you do not run into trouble when seeking custody.
2. Clean up your online presence
If you are not careful, your social media accounts, emails and text messages may be used against you and damage your argument. While going through a divorce, you may be tempted to vent using these communication channels. Make sure that you portray stability so your ex-spouse cannot use anything you say online against you.
3. Be involved with your child
You might already provide for your child’s basic needs such as housing, food and clothing, however, if you want to obtain a favorable custody outcome you should become more involved in other aspects of your child’s life. Attend extracurricular activities and school conferences. By being actively involved with your child’s life outside of the home, you can demonstrate your parental involvement and fitness.
By keeping these three tips in mind, you can improve your odds of achieving a favorable custody outcome in your divorce. Going through a custody battle is never easy, but you can take some simple steps to prove that you are an involved and loving father who wants to spend as much time as possible with your child. For more specific advice regarding your child custody case, contact a family law attorney.