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Omaha Fathers' Rights Legal Blog

What can fathers do to help win custody?

You want joint custody of the kids; your spouse wants sole custody. You're worried that she is going to get it. As a father, what can you do to help put yourself in the best possible position to win custody rights?

Here are a few tips:

  1. If you've already been ordered to pay child support, do not neglect to do so. You may be frustrated that things aren't working out in your favor, but don't withhold any payments. It's illegal and certainly doesn't help your case.
  2. Show that your relationship with the children is meaningful. Be involved in their lives. Go to school functions, sports contests and everything else your children are involved in.
  3. Work on that relationship in every way you can. It's not just about showing up at events. You want to bond with your children. A Saturday evening spent doing nothing more than playing board games at the house may seem like a small thing, but a record of these events shows that it's in the children's best interests to spend time with you.
  4. Get ready to talk to the judge. Don't just come to court expecting to get what you want. The judge may ask you questions -- like what type of living space you have for the children or how you plan to provide financially -- and you need to be ready with prompt, accurate answers.

The 8 kinds of domestic violence: Are you a victim?

The necessary steps required to resolve a domestic violence problem are determining that you are a victim and speaking up to make the abuse stop. If you're a victim, however, this is a lot more difficult to do than one might think. It takes great courage and a strong sense of empowerment to stand up against an abuser.

Let's focus on the first part of getting past your domestic violence issue. Recognizing that you have a problem isn't always easy. There are eight kinds of domestic violence you'll want to review to determine if you're being victimized.

  • Physical abuse: This includes any kind of hitting, pushing, striking, hair pulling, throwing of objects at the person and similar physical actions.
  • Threats of physical abuse: The threat of hurting someone constitutes the crime of assault. Even if someone doesn't touch you but instead threatens to hurt you, it constitutes violence.
  • Stalking: If someone is following you, calling you and making you feel uncomfortable with the activity, even after you've asked the person to stop, it could be stalking.
  • Cyberstalking: This is the digital form of stalking which can happen on social media accounts, email and other areas of the internet.
  • Sexual abuse: This involves unwanted sexual contact often instituted by force, coercion or through the threat of violence.
  • Emotional abuse: Name calling and belittling comments are examples of this form of abuse.
  • Economic abuse: The purposeful withholding of money in order to control someone is a form of domestic violence.
  • Psychological abuse: Any form of psychological manipulation or an attempt to make someone feel small and disempowered, such as gaslighting, could be considered domestic violence.

Do you know what the right of first refusal really is?

You and your spouse are getting divorced, and you believe custody is going to get split evenly between the two of you. That's common these days and you're both great parents.

One of your friends, who already got divorced, tells you that you should consider adding a clause called the "right of first refusal." Do you know what it is and how it works?

Parenting guidelines to include in your child custody agreement

It doesn't matter who you are, depending on how your parents raised you and your own personal experience, there's a chance that you and your spouse will not completely agree how to raise your children. For this reason there are a few areas that you may want to cover in the parenting provisions included in your child custody agreements.

Parenting provisions are short statements in which you and the other parent agree on specific points relating to your future life as separate and single parents. Here are a couple of areas you may want to cover in this regard:

An emergency order could be issued over false allegations

When one spouse accuses the other of domestic violence, the court may act quickly to protect that person and any children by putting out an emergency protection order.

Typically, this order will mandate that the accused has no contact at all with the other party. This means leaving the family home and finding a new place to live. It means never calling, texting, emailing or contacting that person on social media.

Why would split custody be used?

Split custody is not very common. Essentially, it's like awarding sole custody of one child to each parent.

For instance, perhaps a couple has two daughters. One is 10 years old and the other is 5 years old. In a split custody arrangement, the mother may get full custody of the 5-year-old girl, while the father gets full custody of the 10-year-old girl.

The importance of avoiding emotional tunnel vision

Divorce experts warn that people who split up can get what they call "emotional tunnel vision."

Essentially, the divorce is taxing. Maybe they didn't want to split up. Maybe they did, but it's still a huge change in their lives, and they have trouble adjusting. These people may be looking forward to the end result, but that doesn't mean divorce is simple and easy.

What is father hunger?

The term "father hunger" is one sometimes used by psychologists when talking about children of divorce. One psychologist said he often saw this phenomenon when working with kids who lived with their mothers and rarely saw their fathers.

He pointed out that the recent trend toward equal parental involvement simply did not exist in the 1970s, when he began his career. In most cases, kids were left with their mothers and fathers were not a big part of the equation. He said that fathers were looked at as expendable parents.

Kids may not like leaving their comfort zone

You feel like the kids are depressed every time they come visit you. Due to a busy work schedule and limited visitation and custody time, you only see them once a month. Every time they show up, they seem down about having to leave your ex.

Many parents assume that this means:

  • The kids like the other parent far more.
  • The kids do not feel safe being around the noncustodial parent.
  • The kids feel like they're being neglected or ignored.

What can you do when your ex won't let you see your children?

One of the worst things about a divorce can be the damage it does to the relationship between a loving parent and the children from the marriage. It can be hard to adjust to life seeing your children only a few days a week. It can be even worse when your ex no longer allows you to have visitation as outlined in your divorce agreement or the temporary order while your divorce is pending.

Being totally cut off from the children that you love can feel terrible. Most divorces in Nebraska result in shared custody or at least visitation. If one parent refuses to comply with the custody agreement or visitation schedule, the parent losing out in visitation and time with his or her children should explore court enforcement.

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