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As an active father going through divorce, you want to maintain a strong relationship with your children in the future. Although things will change, there are steps you can take to ensure that you remain a big part of your children’s lives.

Here are a few important points of advice for fathers who are approaching the beginning of a child custody battle:

— Know what you want from the start. You know what you want, so you might as well fight for it from the beginning. This is better than being passive at first, just to find that things aren’t working in your favor.

— Know your legal rights. It’s easy to believe that family courts typically favor mothers, but this isn’t true. There are things you can do to put yourself in position to receive the outcome you’re seeking.

— Know your schedule. It’s essential to understand your schedule, as this gives you a clear idea of what will work best for you. Make sure you write out your schedule before you head to court.

There are many things fathers can do to more efficiently fight for child custody. Nobody wants to go through this, but if you find yourself in this position, you have no choice but to take the right steps at the right time.

Don’t automatically assume that you have to take a backseat as a father. Instead, learn more about your legal rights and then fight from start to finish for an arrangement that you’re comfortable with.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court,” accessed Jan. 02, 2017