Custody battles are among the most contentious aspect of divorce. Many fathers feel slighted by the process, and especially when filing for primary legal or physical custody. While the court will make all decisions based on the best interests of the child, Very Well Family offers the following advice on how dads can improve their chance of a successful case.

Play a role in your child’s life

Being an involved dad now shows you’re willing to play a significant role in your child’s life. The court will want to know what kind of relationship you and your child already have to make their custody determination and if you’re absent it will negatively impact your case. Attend sporting events and plays, lend moral support, and stay in close contact with teachers and school administrators to show the court you’re a proactive parent.

Continue making child support payments

If you’re currently ordered to make child support payments, it’s crucial that they continue. Even if you’re ex withholds visitations you must still make payments as obligated. You can report visitation issues to the court, who will ensure orders are carried out by both parties. If you’re unable to make payments due to financial hardship, you can also request a modification.

Be civil to your ex-spouse

It’s natural to harbor ill feelings towards your former spouse. You must remain civil and respectful despite these feelings, especially when it comes to child-rearing issues. Cooperation is key in the eyes of the court, as in most cases both parents are encouraged to play an active role in the life of their child. If you’re having trouble coming to terms, consider drafting a co-parenting plan. This document lays out rights and responsibilities of each parent, which can sometimes limit squabbles.