by David T. Bruce
According to a recent census report, less than 18 percent of divorced father’s have custody of their children. Depending on how these statistics are interpreted, you could argue that there is a bias in favor of the mother or that fathers in general don’t measure up as child caregivers. Of course neither argument is 100 percent accurate, and regardless of how much grey area exists in family courts (or the courts of opinion) that determine who obtains custody, your job as a father is to stand strong in the face of adversity and beat the odds.
Statistics may favor the mother in child custody cases, but often how data is collected and calculated can misrepresent the truth. Ignore statistics. In many instances a mother may win custody simply because the father does not fight for custody.
You can demonstrate to a judge that you are as capable of nurturing your child as is the mother:
- Become actively involved with your child at daycare, school and extracurricular activities.
- Ensure that your home is well taken care of and is safe.
- Show that you are dependable, by making and keeping scheduled appointments, including pick-up and drop-off times.
I was able to obtain full custody of my children by being proactive, diligent, and active in their lives before, during, and after my divorce. I’m confident that dads have a larger role to play in their children’s lives than they are often given credit, and whether you are sharing custody or trying to raise kids on your own, you don’t need to be perfect; you just need to be involved.