Any father that goes through the child custody system in Georgia will quickly realize that the historical preference for children to go to their mother is still around to an extent. As a father fighting to protect his parental rights, it is important to work with an experienced and strong advocate for fathers’ rights. All too often, Georgia attorneys tend to fall into the mindset that children will automatically go to their mother. Starting off with an attorney with that attitude can be horribly detrimental to an active father seeking a favorable custody agreement.

It is also important to make sure that all parties know, from the very beginning, what you want from the custody agreement. This means both your attorney and the court need to know that you want primary custody (if that is your goal) or that you want nearly equal visitation. Agreeing to anything less as a temporary agreement may backfire when you try to get more time during a permanent agreement.

It can also be beneficial to make a visual representation of every proposed custody agreement. Not only does that give you a clear understanding of how many days on and how many days off you will have with the children, but it can also go far to convince a judge that a proposed custody agreement is unfair. Sometimes it will even help the children’s mother see that she will have the children for a long time without the benefit of handing them off for some time alone.

Finally, try to be civil with your children’s mother. Once the custody decision is complete, you will need to work with her to co-parent these children for years to come.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court,” Morghan Leia Richardson, May 23, 2013