In the state of California, mothers and fathers have equal rights to parenting time when the courts are figuring out child custody. Moms and dads are held to the same standards when it comes to income and child support, too (and men and women are equal in the law’s eyes when it comes to paying spousal maintenance, too).
However, some people are under the misconception that fathers are at a disadvantage in Stockton divorce courts—and they make big mistakes because of it.
Common Mistakes Dads Make in Stockton, CA Divorce Cases
Although men and women are granted equal rights (and opportunities) under California divorce laws, many people aren’t aware that there’s no “automatic penalty” just for being a dad. Old myths persist, causing some people to make big—and costly—mistakes.
Trying to Out-Spend Your Spouse
The California Family Code says that it’s not acceptable to try to financially break your soon-to-be ex-spouse. In fact, the code’s General Provisions say (in Part 271), that if one spouse engages in “unreasonable behavior” that’s not consistent with California’s public policy on dispute resolution, he or she may end up having to pay the other spouse’s attorney’s fees.
One more thing, too: If you’re going into court with your proverbial guns blazing, while your spouse is just there to do what’s right for your kids, the judge may not look too favorably upon you.
Giving Up Your Legal Rights
You have a responsibility to your kids to assert your rights—and the courts expect you to do it. California law gives you the right to be with your children and participate in their lives, but some dads mistakenly believe that the law is against them from the start and end up giving away some (or most) of their rights because they don’t want to “lose” in court.
If you give away your rights to custody and visitation, you don’t lose… your kids do.
(Learn more about helping your children with depression and other issues.)
Remember, too, that it’s easier to ask for what you and your kids deserve in the first place than it is to say, “I’ve made a mistake! Can we fix it?” later.
Forgetting That Change is Okay
If something significant changes, you can ask the court to modify orders it has already made. Let’s say you lose your job, or you’re transferred and have to spend more money on your living arrangements; paying the same amount of money in child support can send you deep into debt, which means it’s okay to ask the court to change the order it already made. It’s pretty simple to ask for a modification order, and the worst that can happen is that the judge disagrees with you.
Are You a Dad Who Needs to Talk to a Stockton Divorce Attorney?
If you’re a father who knows he needs to protect his own—and his children’s—rights during divorce, we can help you.
Call us at 209-910-9865 or get in touch with us online to discuss your situation. We’ll give you the case-specific legal advice you need right now, and we’ll begin developing a strategy that gets you the best possible outcome.