There is a common sentiment among men facing custody and child support issues–essentially that they will not get a fair shake in court. While there may be some truth to support those feelings, the stereotypes that men must deal with are certainly different than those that women encounter. For example, a stay-at-home father, must deal with the common presumption that dad should get a job and provide for the family (even if dad has a history staying home with the kids). When mom is the primary caretaker, this presumption may not exist.
Even though modern child custody statutes have worked to limit these presumptions from affecting custody decisions, men must still be wary of how they may be viewed in family court. In essence, they should try to avoid being lumped into the following categories:
The bully – At their core, judges are legal jurists; they apply the facts to the law and render a decision. However, they are trained to read between the lines and can spot people who crave power and thrive on intimidation. Judges are less sympathetic to a bully’s cause and can see through their facade.
The control freak – When the man is the sole breadwinner, this may spill over into other areas of life, and he may be is unwilling to compromise or see any other point of view. This will not help in family court, where there is a common expectation for parents to work together for the benefit of the child.
The master manipulator – Men who portray themselves as victims and blame others for their misfortunes are more likely to be viewed as manipulators who are only interested in protecting their position.
For more information and advice about protecting one’s image in court, contact an experienced family law attorney.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Five Musts for Dealing With Domestic Violence in Your Divorce, October 10, 2012