In a custody case, whether part of a divorce or not, you need to prove what you allege to be fact. Words alone are insufficient but too often are all the court has to go on. If you claim to be the primary caregiver how do you plan to prove it?
When you drive the children to school, do you just drop them off and pick them up curbside or do you get out of the car, and interact with other parents and school personnel? Do you attend school activities open to parents by standing in the back, or by intermingling? Do you supervise their homework but not sign their notebook? When you take them to the doctor or dentist, do you drop them off and pick them up or do you get out and go in with them to check them in and speak with the professional? Do you drop them off and pick them at their friend’s homes for play dates or do you walk to the door and socialized with their friend’s parents?
There was once a divorce where the father, a disabled person who did not work, drove the child to and from school 4 days a week but never exited his car. The mother drove the child to and from school only day a week and exited the car to intermingle with other parents and school personnel. The mother attended most school parent conferences and the father did not. The father supervised the child’s homework daily but the mother always signed the homework. So can you guess whom the school thought was the primary parent?
The mother made all the pediatrician and dentist appointments for the child, but the father took the child to most visits. He did not go in and waited in the car. Can you guess whom the doctor’s and dentist’s offices thought was the primary parent?
For play dates during the week, the father dropped off and picked up the child but never went to the door to socialized with the other parents. The mother on weekends always socialized with the other parents when dropping off and picking up.
Thus, in truth, the father was the primary parent, but the mother could prove she was and the father could not prove anything. This has happened with reverse genders as well. Make sure you are seen, you are know, you have signed in and out, and have a detailed journal of time and activity with child for you and the pother parent. Proof, not reality, is too often the backbone of a court case. As seen above, proof and reality are not always the same thing.