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Raise your child custody standing by getting involved at school

When it comes to demonstrating to a judge that you deserve to be awarded child custody, involvement in your child's education tends to score a lot of points. This is especially true for fathers, who tend to make a more lasting impression simply because there are far fewer of them getting involved at school.

Child custody hearings often include testimony from teachers, who are asked what kind of role each parent plays in a child's education, a substantial part of any kid's life. Therefore, it behooves parents to play an active role both in and out of the classroom.

Even among married couples, mothers have a much bigger presence in school. They're more often the ones chaperoning field trips, bringing forgotten lunches from home and answering calls from teachers about performance and discipline issues. So when dads show up at school to volunteer or attend conferences, they tend to stand out. It may not be fair, but their rarity creates an advantage for fathers who want to show that they're invested in their child's education.

To make this kind of impression, it helps to be consistent. Take a vacation day from work to volunteer at school, attend parent-teacher conferences and stop in occasionally to talk to your child's teachers. Many schools now have online portals that allow parents to track their child's progress and stay in contact with teachers.

You can also make an impact by helping your child with her homework when you spend time together. It may be tough if your child doesn't live with you for most of the week, but signing off on those assignments at least puts your name in a teacher's mind and lets him or her know that you're actively participating.

Taking these steps not only helps your child custody argument, but it also benefits your child's education, not to mention your parent-child relationship.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Want Custody Of Your Kids? Get Involved With Their School!" Joseph E. Cordell, March 8, 2012

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