According to some statistics, mothers win custody battles about 68% to 88% of the time. This means that, as a father, there are some factors going against you even before the custody hearing ensues. It is good to know what these factors are, and what you can to gain a level playing field in the battle to get your children's custody. There may be many such factors, but here are two of the most important:
Both parents bond with their children, but it seems that mothers form stronger or more important bonds with their kids than fathers do. According to parenting.com, this bond transcends the physical realms because it helps to boost the baby's immunity and enhances his or her IQ.
Younger children especially have stronger bonds with their mothers than fathers. This is because, in most cases, their mothers engage in more of the duties and actions that facilitate the bonding process. Such actions include feeding, carrying, massaging and even sleeping with him or her.
During custody hearings and visitations, the child custody lawyers will examine the relationship and strength of the bonds you both have with the children. For young children, the examination is likely to reveal that the bond with the mother is stronger than that with the father.
Primary Caregiver Role
In many households, it is the mother that performs the bulk of the duties that make a parent a primary caregiver. These are the duties that help to meet the child's primary needs such as:
- Visiting hospitals
Of course, many households split these duties. However, when one parent (and in many cases it is the mother) does them most of the time, then he or she is viewed by the court as the primary caregiver. The court is most likely to award custody to this parent because it is looking for the child's well-being.
What You Can Do
As a father, you stand better chances of getting custody if you have been bonding and caring for your child since his or her birth. Even if you haven't, you can still help your case by starting to do these things. According to WebMD, some of the steps to help you bond with your child better include:
- Spending as much time with the child (playing or just holding him or her)
- Regularly massaging the child
- Increasing the frequency of physical contact with the child
- Being proactive in the child's care
In addition, you should get involved in the primary caregiving roles necessary for your child's wellbeing. Take him or her to the hospital when he or she is sick, drive him or her to school, and play an active role in his or her life.
Although you may be doing these things primarily for your child's welfare, it helps if you document them. Furnish your lawyer with the diary of how involved you have been in your child's upbringing. It will help in keeping you on an even level with the mother at the custody hearing.