If you are a father involved in a child custody battle in Louisiana, you can be your own worst enemy. Part of this is natural. You are in a stressful situation, and you likely operate on emotion rather than thought.
You need to carefully consider your every move. What you say and do can undermine your legal rights, so use common sense and reason.
Maintain your legal obligations
Custody laws can seem unfair, but that does not matter. You must follow them.
Make your child support payments. If you are having financial trouble, you can seek to change the payment plan. You also can seek mediation or arbitration to settle financial and other disputes.
If you have an informal payment arrangement with the mother, keep detailed records. Maintain a file of check receipts and copies of all correspondence with your child’s mother.
Keep an accurate record of your child visitation schedule. Make it part of a written parenting plan that you can submit to the court.
Maintain a strong relationship with your child
Regularly call your son or daughter when you do not have custody. Ask about his or her daily activities, and make a special living space available when you do have custody.
Be active in your child’s life. Introduce yourself to the staff at your child’s school. Attend school, social, religious, sports and other important activities.
Maintain your dignity
Be respectful of the mother, as this can have an impact on your child and on the court’s opinion of you. Also, know what you can handle. You have other responsibilities, including relationships and work obligations. Trying to do too much can put a strain on yourself and your daughter or son.
Child custody is overwhelming, so seek help if you need it. You probably know fathers who have been through the same experience. They can provide valuable insights.
Make it clear to everyone that your child’s well-being is your most important priority. The court is sure to notice all your hard work and dedication.