Three Conditions That Increase A Father's Chances Of Getting Custody Of Their Infant
As a father, you probably fear that you won't get ample custodial time with your infant if you separate from the mother. This is understandable because the society has been accustomed to letting mothers have custody of their young kids.
However, things are changing, and your chances of getting a good proportion of your child's custody are high. In fact, under the following conditions, your chances of getting custody of your child may be equal to or even greater than the mother's chances:
The Mother Isn't Breastfeeding
Breast milk is generally considered as the best source of nutrition for the baby, and its benefits have been shown to last many years after weaning. Therefore, if a mother is breastfeeding her infant, she is likely to get more time with the infant than the father. This may be the case even in states that haven't addressed the issue of breastfeeding in their custody laws (only a handful of states have addressed the issue). In many cases, the presiding judge considers the baby's need for breastfeeding when making the decision.
It follows, therefore, that you are likely to have more time with the kid if they aren't breastfeeding than if they are breastfeeding because feeding difficulties won't be an issue. For example, if the child is relying on infant formula, you can provide them with their meals just as well as the mother.
Amount of Time Mother Has With the Child
Since infants need more time with their parents than older children, the court will consider how much time each of you can spend with the child. As a father, you are more likely to increase your custody time if you can prove that you have had and are more likely to continue having more time with the child than their mother.
Most states haven't enshrined the need for paternity leave in law, but the mother's need for maternity leave is well protected. Most dads only get time to be with their newborns by taking sick leave or vacation time. This usually means that mothers have more time with their infants than fathers.
Consider the example of a self-employed mom who has to determine the duration of her maternity leave on her own, and decides to keep it short. In such a case, you may find yourself having more time with the child if you are a stay-at-home dad or you are also self-employed but with a less demanding schedule.
Your States Have Specific Laws for Your Case
There is a societal presumption that babies are better off with their mothers than their father. Even though many states don't adhere to this doctrine, the bias is still there. However, there are states with laws that specifically negate the tender years doctrine; Indiana is a prime example of such a state. In such states, the law is clear that both parents must be considered as potential caregivers for their kids, with no presumption of favor. Having the issue addressed in law gives it more weight than leaving it up to the judges. Therefore, you are likely to have more time with your kid if you live in a state with such laws.
As usual, the strength of your custody case depends on how much you can prove in court. For example, the court won't just take your word for it when you claim to spend more time with the child, and the other parent is likely to challenge your claims. Get an experienced custody lawyer like Kenneth J. Molnar Attorney to help you with the case.