Many people think that mothers have the upper hand when it comes to divorce and child custody negotiations. And many see fathers as undeserving to be in the lives of their children after a divorce. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Fathers have rights too, and they should not be shut out by mothers, or courts for that matter. If you are going through a co-parenting arrangement process and are scared of being treated unfairly just because you are the father, it helps to understand that you have every right to continue playing an active role in your children’s lives, and that you are protected by the law.
Fathers Have Rights to Physical Custody of Their Children
Unlike in the past, the law no longer automatically views the mother as the better choice; it gives both parents an equal opportunity to negotiate living arrangements for the kids. The law allows the parents to come up with a working co-parenting plan outside of court. But if the parents can not agree, they may take the matter to the court. In such a case, both parents can file for primary custody by providing evidence as to why they deserve to spend more time with the kids. The court relies on this evidence to determine the parent who is more deserving to live with the kids. The court may look into factors such as;
Which side will cause less disruption to the kids’ normal life?
Which parent is more fit to live with the kids? In this case the court will consider things like drug addiction and mental stability.
The prevailing parent will be deemed the ‘primary’ parent, and the court will issue guidelines on visitations, child support, and other elements of co-parenting.
Fathers Have Rights to Child Support
Child support is set in place so that children can continue with the standards of living they had before the parents parted ways. In the past, many felt that only dads were required to pay child support. And this misconception stood for long because mothers were given the primary custody of the children in most cases.
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The law has since become gender-neutral, allowing both parents to support and provide for their children. Child support is now paid by the parent who did not get primary child custody, as part of fulfilling their legal obligation. If the court saw fit to award you primary custody, the mother is required to pay as much child support as you would if it had gone the other way.
Fathers Have Rights to Make Decisions Regarding Their Kids
As a father, you have a parental responsibility to make crucial decisions that determine the quality of life of your children, and no one should deny you this right. Some of the decisions that you should be part of include:
The school they attend
The doctor they see
The religious beliefs they follow
Courts in the majority of states advocate for shared legal custody in which parents continue to make these decisions together just like they did before separating. Even if the court did not make you the primary caregiver, it will allow you to be part of making decisions. The court usually allows the parents to decide how joint legal custody works for them, including how they settle when they are not in agreement. If this does not work out the court may analyze the situation and potentially give one parent legal custody.
You deserve to have a healthy relationship with your kids, as long as you are a loving father.The law has transformed greatly to allow for fathers to share in the same privileges as the mothers. Today fathers have rights as meaningful and profound as mothers. It helps to understand these rights so that you prepare adequately for court proceedings without feeling like the mother has an advantage over you.
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