Being a father in a custody case can be intimidating; many fathers believe that they do not have the same rights as children’s mothers. The truth is, however, that fathers do have rights in child custody cases in our state. At the Law Office of Heather M. Ward, our family law attorney can help you to navigate your child custody case, understand the law and your rights, and improve your chances of securing the best case outcome possible for you and your child. Please reach out to our lawyer today to get started.
What Are the Rights of a Father in a Child Custody Case in Massachusetts?
It is a misconception that mothers are favored in child custody cases. The reality is that judges cannot consider the gender of the parent when making a decision about with whom a child should live; instead, the factors that a judge will consider when determining the best interests of a child include:
- The child’s age and physical and mental needs
- The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community
- The ability and willingness of each parent to promote a loving relationship between the child and the other parent
- The mental and physical abilities of each parent
- Any history of physical abuse or substance abuse
- Any other factors the court finds relevant
As you can see, there is no consideration of whether the parent seeking custody is the mother or the father—the court only considers how different custody arrangements would impact the child’s best interests.
Tips for Winning a Child Custody Case in MA
When a father and a mother are in disagreement about who should have custody of a shared child, both will have the opportunity to present their case to the court. Fathers can strengthen their case and improve their chances of being awarded custody by being actively involved in the child’s life; ensuring that they are available (or have made arrangements for) to pick the child up from school, help the child with homework, eat dinner with the child, and prepare the child for school in the mornings; encouraging a healthy relationship between the child and their mother when appropriate—disparaging the child’s mother will likely only hurt a father’s case; attending a child’s doctor’s appointments, parent-teacher conferences, and other school events; and being thoughtful about one’s behaviors outside of direct interactions with the child, for example, refraining from drug or alcohol abuse, being careful about what’s posted on social media, etc. It’s also important for fathers to start to think about people in the community who could serve as witnesses during a child custody trial and provide testimony about the capabilities of the father.
Call the Law Office of Heather M. Ward Today
Our experienced Massachusetts family law attorney at the Law Office of Heather M. Ward knows that if you’re a father in a child custody case, you may feel as though the odds are stacked against you. The truth is, however, that if you are a good father and have a sound case strategy, there is no reason why you can’t win your child custody case. To learn more about how Attorney Heather M. Ward can help, please call our law office directly at (617) 903-8955 or send us a message online at your convenience.