In New Jersey, fathers often believe that they are starting a divorce in a weakened position. That perception reinforces itself because fathers make common mistakes that end up putting them in a bad situation that will then endure until the children are grown. Fathers can take steps to protect their interests and rights early in the divorce process.

One of the biggest mistakes that fathers can make is trying to be the good guy early on in the divorce. While they think that they are being nice to their ex-spouse, courts will actually look at the agreements that they make as a baseline when making decisions on the future. Fathers think that they are second-best in the equation, but both parents are equal according to the law.

Fathers should also make sure that they document things such as the other parent trying to deny them access to the children. At the same time, they should keep notes of phone calls and save all emails. Fathers should know that mothers are doing the same so they should be careful both verbally and in writing. Fathers should also not assume that they are going to end up the same as the person in whatever negative story they have heard. Adopting a self-defeating tone is the worst thing a parent can do when they are fighting for their rights.

One of the most important things that fathers can do is to retain a family law attorney to advocate for them in a divorce agreement. If the case goes to court, the attorney may advocate for the father and makes sure that the judge hears their side of the story and point of view in a custody hearing. Fathers are equal as far as the law is concerned and they should never think otherwise.