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Authored by Todd Burnham

How can a father get full custody of his child?

The key to a successful Colorado child custody case is strategically applying the law to the set of facts.  This is especially true when we are dealing with custody for fathers.  The analysis is the same, regardless of whether the parent is the mother or father, and it begins and ends with the best interests of the child or children.

Colorado courts will consider many factors when determining what custody order is in the child’s best interests.

These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The requests of each parent.
  • The child’s custody preferences (if the child is mature enough to express them).
  • The mental and physical health of each parent.
  • Each parent’s ability and/or willingness to encourage the child to continue having a positive, loving relationship with the other parent.
  • The distance between each parent’s home and whether the child would need to adjust to a new community.
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence, abuse, criminal activity or addiction.

Many fathers believe that the system is set up against them, but that generally isn’t the case provided they have strategic-thinking advocates who aren’t afraid of the courtroom.  It’s also important to realize that the initial custody order is the baseline, and that orders are modifiable.  Typically, the primary parent is going to have initial leverage over the other parent based simply on the child’s needs.

Fathers regularly gain majority (or even sole) custody if, and only if, they are fearless and thorough from the start.  Nobody, especially a lawyer, is going to know your child better than you.  Tapping into that knowledge is essential, especially when it comes to parental responsibilities investigations.

It’s easy to dismiss fathers’ rights if they aren’t the primary parent, but it cuts both ways.  In many Colorado custody cases, fathers provide the financial support for their families and aren’t necessarily ever-present because they are working providing for their families.

That commitment doesn’t go unnoticed by the courts if presented the right way and in a manner that reflects the truth.  Fathers love their children no less than mothers and they have equal rights to both enjoy their parenting time and make decisions that affect the health and development of their children.

The top five (5) ways fathers can win custody of their children in Colorado are as follows:

  1. Choose the right law firm.  There is no better way to both set the tone and achieve your goals than to align yourself with reputable, higher-level attorneys.  Strategic planning is everything.
  2. Stay focused.  Don’t get distracted and emotional.  Stay focused on both the long-term and short-term goals.  Everything that is written between parents will eventually be seen by other people.
  3. Stay engaged.  Just because your child’s mother is making things difficult or challenging for you does not mean you disappear.  You must show up even more.  Your children see it…as does the judge.  Your focus is on your children and your lawyer’s focus is on the case.
  4. Be their role model.  Advocate for them, protect them, and provide for them.  They will emulate you in their lives.  If you leave when things get hard, they will likely do the same in their lives.  And if you handle adversity with strength, confidence and love, this will translate to them.  Take the high road when it comes to addressing their mother’s anger or resentment towards you.  It pays dividends down the line.
  5. See the big picture.  Especially with babies and very young children, there is a bigger picture involved:  your child’s development. Sometimes it takes a bit longer for the court to “get it.”  Fathers win custody of their children when they stay focused and remain the best versions of themselves while going through a very challenging time in their lives.  This is a new beginning – with opportunities to connect with your child on a deeper level – for those who can see the bigger picture and follow the strategy to the end.

 

Burnham Law has offices in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs and Fort Collins.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation.