Deciding It Is Worth the Fight! (for Custody)

written by Fred Campos
Deciding It Is Worth the Fight (for Custody) by

[H]ave you noticed we live in a society that hates making decisions?  Whether it’s picking a combo meal number at a drive through window, or deciding which restaurant to frequent for dinner, people HATE making choices.  I believe this problem is rooted in having too many choices and everyone accessing too many different opinions.  We have become a generation that doesn’t think for ourselves.  We worry too much about making the wrong decision that we rarely make any decisions on our own.  This indecisiveness is a decision in and of itself–and it is usually the wrong one.

If you have determined that there is absolutely nothing you can do to save your marriage (see previous post), then you need to sit down and determine if fighting for custody is worth it?  I know, I know, the easy answer is “yes”. Your friends and family will tell you “yes” you have to fight.  Society is going to tell you, “You should fight.”  But the reality is, it is time to sit down and be real with yourself.  Do you really WANT custody?  Are you really the better parent?  Why do you want custody? Are your answers to these questions truly noble and in the best interest of your children? Or are you just feeling very vindictive, angry at your Ex, or upset about the possibility of paying child support?

Deciding It is Worth the Fight for Custody

You need to stop what you’re doing, go to the bathroom, look at yourself in the mirror the give some serious thought to the following statements. Being a custodial parent is tough. While still being the financial provider, you’ll do most of the parenting, you’ll do most of the homework, you’ll do most of the spending, you’ll deal with most of the problems.  You’ll be the main one to staying home when your kids are sick.  You’ll be the primary person running them to piano lessons, drilling them on their multiplication tables, disciplining them on their misbehavior.  You’ll get the first call from the principal when an issue arises at school and from the police officer when they get caught toilet papering a house in their teens. DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS JOB?

[tweet “Our legal system operates very unfavorably to dads seeking primary custody.”]

If you are still answering “yes” to this question, now let me clarify the fight you are really about to be up against.  Even though we are a decade into the 21st century, our legal system operates very unfavorably to dads seeking primary custody.  You will have to be 200 times better than your Ex, in the top 5% of other dads in your parenting skills, and spend double the amount of money on your case than most custody battles.  But is it worth all that?  Only you can answer that.  I need you to answer it honestly.  If you still think it is worth the cost, then I need for you to decide right now to fight, to go all the way, and to win! Making a decision to do something IS the first step!  Being mentally committed to this extensive task is a MUST!

Let’s say you have looked in the mirror, counted the cost, and realize you are not up for the fight.  That’s ok too.  That is a decision as well, at least you know where you REALLY stand.  You may still want to try to get the best access to your children. You need to study your rights to prevent your Ex from taking advantage of you.  You are still ahead of the game.  The worst possible situation, which I see all the time, is a guy who is fighting but has not “decided” to really fight.  That is a formula for losing.

One final thought.  I know some good dads and moms that realized they are not up for the job.  Their Ex really is the better parent.  It hurts to say, but sometime that is the best for their children and in their situation, it just might be.

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So have you decided to fight? What makes you the better parent?



  1. Kent Brown

    Love the dialogue! You are fired up, for sure. This reminds me a little of early Promise Keepers stuff, where guys were primed for the fight to be responsible men overall, not just good dads. Lots of good words in here, Fred.
    By the way, the word is “solicit”. Go get ’em!

  2. Sonja

    Fred, you have not asked the critical question and it’s a critical question *legally* too:

    What is in the best interest of the child?

    Generally, the court will chose the parent who:

    1) has spent the most time with the child pre-divorce
    2) makes the most accommodations in lifestyle, etc. for the child’s well being
    3) is the parent the child wants to live with.

    It’s true women usually get custody but usually they are the parent of record and the one who’s willing to devote time to the case. I think the courts are less biased male/female than you suggest. If the dad’s house really *is* the place the child belongs, they’re willing to put him or her with the dad. But the truth is in general what the dad (or mom) wants in a contested custody case is not the important aspect. The interest of the child is.

    • FullCustodyDad


      very well stated. In my experience in dealing with fathers who want custody, I sometimes have to sit them down and pull them away from the battle long enough to evaluate their motives. Lately both dads and moms are fighting so much to get back or get even.

      Like you said, the children should be the focus and their best interest.

  3. Greg

    Maybe, the better decision is for both side to drop the pretense of fighting and compromise, giving both 50/50 custody, making it equal and equitable for both sides and the involvement of lawyers minimal.

    • FullCustodyDad


      sorry I am so late in responding. First and foremost, thanks for commenting. I agree with you completely in a perfect world or one from which the parties get along very well after the divorce. In my 11 years of this work, I have seen two very good cases where a 50/50 custody worked and made sense. (Both case the parties lived with in 2000 feet of each other.)

      Outside of very close proximity, I have not seen 50/50 custody work for the children in regards to school, extracurricular activities, and long term struction.

      Personally I think co-parents should be required to live on the same street, but that’s a topic for another day. 🙂

  4. Sandy rob

    Then there me. Never charged him child support, he used the courts to harass me. Our son turned 13 & said he wanted to try it over there. I said fine. Made the arrangements. Now, I pay over $600 a month in support & guess who is no longer honoring the agreement? Him. I haven’t seen or talked with my child in a bit. I can no longer afford to go to court & basically am feeling overwhelmed. I want what’s best for my child and I thought…13 yr old boy wants to hang with dad…sounds legit. Let’s do it. I knew he was going to pull something funny but, I never thought he would with hold our child…a human being with feelings/thoughts/emotions against me. I just feel like giving up & pray my son knows I did my best.

    • FullCustodyDad


      SO understand your pain and that is the problem with divorce and custody in this country. While it takes two to agree on marriage, only one can start a divorce. Only one party cannot keep an agreement and then you are screwed. *sigh* What state are you in? If he’s not honoring custody visitation call the enforcement office. Some states take parent alienation very seriously. Hang it there.

      • Sandy rob

        Hello, thank you for the quick response. I am in Michigan. You are 100% right. I honestly feel like he has been harassing me for over 10 years now.



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