Parents trying to hash out child custody arrangements in Minnesota are told that the final arrangement must be in the best interests of the children. What does this mean? Traditionally, this meant that children would be placed with the mother and the father would be granted weekend visitation with the child.
Fathers were either discouraged from fighting for custody of their children or afraid to even try, assuming that the best interests would exclude them. If you are facing a child custody battle here are three good reasons why fighting for your children is in their best interests.
1. Emotional needs – Studies on the emotional development of children are increasingly pointing to the significance that fathers have on the healthy development of their children. Children with strong relationships with their fathers are more likely to be successful in later life.
2. Fighting for your child sense a message – As much as you may try to shield your child from the details of your split, your child is keenly aware of what is going on. Fighting for your child sends a strong message to your child that he or she is loved and vitally important to your life.
3. History matters -Minnesota’s best interests (MN Stat 518.17) look at the relationship you have had with your child and the effect a change in custody is likely to have on that relationship. Even if your role was not that of primary caregiver, the time you have spent with your child matters. Having that time significantly diminished can be stressful and emotionally painful for you and your child. Doing everything you can to preserve your time with your child is important. Make sure whatever time you do spend with your child is quality time.
What you do now will set the map for the future with your child. Agreeing to get along or move the divorce along could make life much harder for you down the road. Making changes in the custody arrangement can be difficult, especially if the other parent is not agreeable. Make sure you are doing everything you can to fight for your kids. Talk to an experienced family law attorney about the best strategy for protecting your relationship with your child.