Father’s rights advocates have been fighting to make sure that father’s rights are equal to a mothers parenting rights. States have different laws regarding father’s rights to parenting and visitation. These laws are not set in stone and in some states, they are changing. Fathers should keep abreast of the developments because these may affect their rights to see and care for their children. A father’s rights lawyer can help fathers decipher the complex wording used in many legal statutes and regulations.
Recent Father’s Rights Laws
Michigan is just one of several states in which legal changes regarding father’s rights have been proposed. Earlier in 2012, a series of bills were introduced to change a law in effect since 1956. The standing law stated that a child born to a married mother was considered a product of the marriage even if the father of the child was not the husband of the mother. The bills recognizing the rights of the biological father were recently approved by the governor of Michigan.
Passing of the Michigan bill is one step toward father’s equal custody rights. For three years, one father in Arizona has been trying to make the same changes within his state. Mike Espinoza successfully fought to change a state custody law in 2010. He did not stop there, helping to pass another law that goes into effect in January 2013, which requires Arizona courts to adopt parenting plans that maximize the time of both parents with their children. Father’s rights advocates are not only just the attorneys that fight for them, but the people that need help as well.
In Florida and Texas, non-custodial parents (who are typically the fathers) are now entitled to approximately 40 percent of parenting time. Legislation that would provide both parents with a minimum of 35 percent of parenting time is being considered in Illinois, home to one of the biggest father’s rights advocates in the country. In states like Oregon, father’s rights are viewed as equal to those of mothers in terms of child custody.
Legislature in Minnesota passed a bill earlier this year to provide at least 35 percent of parenting time to non-custodial parents, which, again, is frequently the father. Unfortunately, this bill was ultimately vetoed by the state governor. However, this has not stopped groups like the American Coalition for Fathers and Children for fighting for father’s rights to spend time with their children.
For many years, decision-makers in child custody cases have been awarding mothers the primary care giving roles. Though they agreed that fathers should have roles in the lives of their children, the amount of involvement was not considered. This is where father’s rights is being fought for, when issues like this are not properly considered. States like Michigan and Arizona are leading the way in changing this. They are moving the country toward father’s equal custody rights that so many fathers have long requested. Learning about what father’s rights you may have is an important step in fighting for your children! Many father’s rights lawyers offer free consultations, like we do here!