- Aug 28, 2015
Good Postas someone who's been in family court, who have paid child support, and who knows a little about family law...let me just say that both parents go into the process having a chance for custody--shared and full; the judge looks at the options given him. most parents are good--mothers and fathers--and wants the best for their kids.
mothers, typically, get the most nods for two reasons:
first, they carried the child for nine months...which gives them an edge. yes, you do score some points for having a vagina. plus, they usually walk in court with their child in hand--custody...possession is nine-tenths of the law.
second, most fathers go to court to minimize their child support payments, not to fight for custody of their child--those who actually go to court, because most wait to see what the fallout is before doing anything. the mother tells the judge what she wants, and the father tells the judge what he can do to meet her demands...instead of offering an alternative to them.
in evaluating stability, the judge looks at a number of things. first and foremost, can the custodial parent provide a stable environment for the child; through their own means, or with assistance from the other parent, is irrelevant...they're both supposed to provide for the child, anyway. if the mother is living with the father, and becomes pregnant for another man...causing the breakup of the home, that's a strike against her in the stability department. if a parent has money, but does not use that money to care for the child--or, if he cannot prove (receipts) he has been caring for the child--that's a strike against him in the support department.
WITH ALL THAT SAID, if you decide to go to court, be prepared to defend your actions--show receipts, time tables, personal care, time spent with kids, etc. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. when you go to court, have a backup plan, in case things don't go the way you want them to go; an alternative to what the mother is requesting. i.e. if the mother wants to put them in the best (private) school, in the best neighborhood, wearing outrageously priced clothes (coz all that boosts the amount of your child support payments)...explain to the judge why a certain public school is just as good as private school, and neighborhood "b," or "c," is less expensive but just as safe as neighborhood "a." ...and that your children doesn't have to wear the most expensive, name brand clothes, that they're going to grow out of in a few months, anyway. WHILE EXPLAINING, without making it seem you're trying to get out of something, THAT THE MOTHER IS JUST TRYING TO SCREW YOU OVER.
IT DOESN'T MEAN THAT YOU DON'T WANT THE BEST FOR YOUR CHILDREN, you're just offering the judge a less expensive alternative to what the mother is requesting...giving him/her a different route to consider. also, by showing that you're willing to provide for your child, it tells the judge that you're responsible...and the court doesn't have to dictate your every step. WHICH ALLOWS YOU TO HAVE SOME SAY SO IN HOW YOUR CHILD IS RAISED.
THINGS to think about.
As you said, "As someone who has paid Child Support". So, you know that is different than "gifts" here and there.
I don't think it's so much because Mom has a vagina. It may be because Mom has breasts. And, I think we can all agree breastfeeding is best for the child, unless there are other circumstances that we don't know about. But, if your children have been living in "a small bedroom" at their maternal grandmother's house, and Mom has had to rely on government aid for FIVE YEARS..... What is the court going to think about that?
And, I agree, and I have said it in this forum and it was met with argument... Usually, men don't file for custody at birth. They usually file after they get their child support orders, and that doesn't look good. Some file at birth in drug and alcohol abuse cases, though. But, if you have known that your children are being neglected or abused for five years, and you haven't done anything about it, the court will hold you equally complicit in that abuse or neglect. Silence is acquiescence.