By Julie Garrison
Special to DadsDivorce.com
In my previous article that discussed how a non-custodial father can build his case for more parenting time, there were custody tips for men on how to behave when considering a custody modification.
But there are less obvious, though just as effective, ways that divorced dads can increase their likelihood of being awarded more parenting time.
1. Don’t smoke. If a divorced parent smokes around his or her children, the court may view this as a hazardous environment and take this into account when deciding parenting time.
2. Invest in CPR training and a few parenting classes. Document these positive activities. The American Academy of Pediatrics website is a good resource for finding books on parenting.
3. Be cooperative. Offer to take your child to the pediatrician while your ex-wife is at work. Sign your kids in and out of daycare. Document all of your cooperative activities.
4. Attend your children’s school programs, field trips, and sports practices. Ask to see your children’s report cards and request notification of when a child is ill or having emotional problems. Make note of a drop in your child’s grades and discipline problems at school.
5. Become a documentarian. Your job is to gather evidence that illustrates that you are an exemplary parent. Take pictures when on fun activities with the kids. Take pictures of your home – inside and out – and especially of the children’s rooms showing that you can provide a good environment for your children.
It’s true that a picture is worth a thousand words. This may be the one thing that tips the scale of justice in your direction. The rules of evidence are different in every state, though, so consult with a local family law attorney.
Best Interests of the Children
Most states have adopted the “best interests of the children” approach to parenting and child custody issues. No matter what evidence you have collected, it all comes down to what arrangement the judge deems to be in the best interests of the children.
If you think you have a case for a child custody modification and more parenting time, contact the divorce lawyers for men at Cordell & Cordell.
Julie Garrison has been writing articles and short stories for the past 10 years and has appeared in several magazines and e-zines.