Men who have fought for custody of their children in court often complain that judges exhibit a bias toward mothers. This is true in some cases, as many courts have traditionally awarded child custody to women by default.
This stereotype makes it especially important for fathers to take extra steps to ensure that they present themselves favorably in custody court and increase their chances of receiving a desirable custody arrangement. Fathers vying for custody in New Jersey or any other state should try to avoid the mistakes that can so easily often ruin their chances at success in family court.
Legal experts recommend that fathers avoid moving in with new partners, spouses or significant others until their divorce and custody cases are final. Judges typically try to avoid exposing children to the truth that their parents have moved on from their marriage, which can make divorce especially hard for them to accept.
Fathers should also be cognizant about their behavior around their children's mothers. Even yelling at a mother once can give her reason to claim they are afraid of the father. Even if this is untrue, courts typically take accusations of bad tempers quite seriously, and may consider such a complaint reason enough to award sole custody to the child's mother.
Likewise, fathers should avoid speaking poorly of the other parent, especially in front of their children. This could be seen as parental alienation and an attempt on the father's part to sully his children's perception of their mother and harm their relationship. Similarly, fathers should always allow their children to speak to and visit with their mother. It can be difficult for a father to allow the child to speak to his or her mother on the phone when their time together is limited, but courts deem it necessary that children be allowed to easily and regularly interact with both parents.
Source: Huffington Post, "Ways To Sabotage Child Custody," Joseph E. Cordell, April 2, 2012