As A Divorcing Father, What Rights Do I Have?
Divorcing fathers have the same rights to their children as a mother does.

When parents get divorced, they do not stop loving their children. Fathers and mothers usually want to remain involved in the lives of their kids. Historically, fathers had a more difficult time doing so due to laws that favored mothers retaining custody of children following a divorce. Times have changed and a father’s rights in divorce now equal those of a mother.

Even if a father wants to limit interactions with his ex-wife, he probably wants to be an active parent. An increasing number of fathers are fighting for primary physical custody of their children. Those who share physical custody with their former spouses often also request joint legal custody so they have a say in important decisions such as where their children attend school and what religion they practice.

Fathers should exercise their rights to the extent of the law. This can be difficult because family laws are complex so fathers’ rights help from an attorney is recommended. With experienced legal representation, a father will have an easier time petitioning for custody of his children following a divorce. Courts consider many factors when deciding child custody cases and a skilled lawyer will illustrate how his or her client exceeds expectations.

The level of involvement that fathers have with their children prior to divorce weighs heavily with a family court deciding on child custody. Fathers who spent most of their time at the office during the marriage will not have strong custody cases. Those who took time to transport children to or from school, attend sporting events, and participate in parent-teacher conferences are more likely to receive some level of custody.

Many fathers do not realize that they are entitled to child support if they are granted primary custody. Child support laws vary by state and a family lawyer will explain these regulations in language that anyone can understand. After a review of the couple’s finances, the lawyer will advise how much child support to expect. Once the court reviews the petition and approves a monthly amount, the ex-wife must begin making payments and continue until children reach majority age.

A good family lawyer is usually the strongest proponent of a father’s rights in divorce. Fathers should turn to this type of attorney for help if they want physical or legal custody of their children. A reputable lawyer with strong knowledge of family laws within the state of residence can help a father continue his relationship with his children.

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24 thoughts on “As A Divorcing Father, What Rights Do I Have?”

  1. So until custody Rights and privileges are established in the courtroom Visitation cannot be Given or taken away without a court Order

  2. Lynnette Marie Davis

    Hello, my son and his wife separated about 5 years ago because she left with another man and moved back to PA. We are in Texas. The father of her second child and ironically the man she left with has contacted my son and said she has now left him and the 2 boys with an aunt, but now wants to get both boys and take off with them and this new guy she has known for 3 weeks or so. He told my son her whole family has turned their back on her. He loves both boys but knows that my son should be with his son and said he should come get him. What my son wants to know, is if he comes from Texas to get him, would he be breaking any sort of law? Legally they are still married and there is no custody case at this time

  3. Me and my wife have been having issues. We have a 3 year old and ever sense losing my job (job failed to transfer me due to covid.) Me and my wife have been fighting more and more about Stupid stuff! We live in a 5th wheel trying to be self sufficient. So it’s slot of work but I do 85% of the work including helping raise our son, but Im consistently told “I don’t do enough I don’t do things right or it’s all my fault” all the time sense our son was born. And it wears you down.. unfortunately I was arrested in Dec for slapping my wife, I know I did wrong! I truly do! But She been pushes past the point more and more sense that night. And we agreed that we should separate and find help. So she took our son down to her mom’s 3 days ago. But she goes from being nice saying how we can work on things to overreacting to saying never contact me again… what should I do to protect my rights to my son.

  4. Can my son’s ex wife say who can be with him and my granddaughter when she is with him? If he has a friend with him then his ex says that he could have supervised visitations, what can he do?

  5. Hello. I am recently divorced & have 8 children. 4 of which are minors. I’ve had protective orders against me on which thier mother had put on me while she was having an affair with another man. I only got put on that because she over-heard me wanting to leave but I coudn’t because of my children. Now that my children are older, they tell me things of which their mother deals with her current “boyfriend” now. More arguements, more physical viloence what he does to her. He even walked around the house naked in front of the younger girls. She has full custody but I’m sick of what the children tell me that he’s doing that stuff yet if i just spoke to leave, I got arrested or whatever & yet she still allows him to beat & choke her & argue every day in front of them. She’s been using them against me this whole time.

  6. Right now because of the Corona virus there is no divorce courts so me and my wife are currently going through a separation and she’s using the kids as leverage by not allowing me to see them. Can you please give me advice on what it is I can do to be able to see my children

  7. My wife took my son without my knowledge and no one will tell me where they are. We were ralki bff about separating and the weeks prior and on the date of 1-26-2020 at approximately 530 she disappeared fro. The place we have been staying with my son

    1. This is a terrible situation that happens all too often in divorces or contested child custody cases. You need to do the following in as quick a manner as possible (this means TODAY – within 24-hours):

      1. Get as much info as you can about where she could have possibly gone;
      2. Write down contact information for her, and all possible addresses she could be (this would be a close friends house, her parents, grandparents, cousins, siblings, etc.);
      3. Check any joint accounts to find any potential spending or large withdrawals;
      4. Get an experienced divorce attorney now.

      Here’s the deal: because the two of you are married and there is currently no court order regarding custody, parenting time, etc., she is legally allowed to have done what she did in most states. This is NOT to say that what she did was right – it sounds like it absolutely was not – but that will be fora judge to decide, and the majority of the time, the courts conclude that the parent that took a child away and blocked contact and hid made this decision out of anger and not out of what is in the best interests of the child (and the “best interests of the child” is the standard for how a court decides who should have what decision making ability/custody arrangement).

      You need a lawyer now. And because they will likely not be bale to serve her (a special process server will be needed), our lawyer will need to petition the court for possible ‘alternative process’ by means of serving a family member that the court trusts will be able to have delivered the message that a lawsuit is pending. So, the petition for dissolution needs to be filed, a process server chosen / appointed to serve her or a family member (like her parents), and an emergency petition for custody / parenting time needs to be filed as well.

      Should she have taken off with your child and had no good reason to hide him from you, the judge will NOT be happy with what she has done and that can have a large impact on how the judge rules on at least a temporary custody plan.

      But you need a lawyer immediately, for a number of reasons, but here’s a big one: if you were to wait 3-weeks, 6-weeks, 3-months (who knows!), a judge could likely say that you did not make all reasonable diligent attempts to find your child and that could weigh against your claim that it is the most important thing in your life and an emergency. For that reason alone, the divorce should be filed this week and an emergency petition filed within the next 7-days as well.

      Please get started, do not wait even 1-day, this will only delay you getting the recourse that you deserve.

  8. wife just got arrested for assualting me in front of kids.where should i start as far as getting primary custody and should i get seperated or divodlrced?

    1. Start by filing for an emergency order of protection and ask that the children be named as protected parties as well as you since it took place in front of the kids. They might be removed from the protections, but ask that parenting time for her be suspended until the family law courts sort things out. Then file for divorce, immediately thereafter. Once served, file an emergency motion in the divorce case to suspend her parenting time / visitation and/or to order that any parenting time she be awarded be under supervision.

      But first, get an experienced divorce lawyer that knows hos to navigate a complex child custody case like this – and this is complicated primarily because of the order of protection that you must seek.

  9. Hi my name is Derrick I’m currently married my wife was just diagnosed with having bipolar and major depression and she gets in these moods were nobody loves her and it started after our 1 yrs old daughter was born and has gotten worse. And we have another child on the way . I’m super excited for I have always wanted kids and a family Well about 3 days ago she had lied to me saying she was tacking our daughter to the mall to go see Santa for pictures and well behind my back she took all her papers ssc birth certificate and our marriage license and she has blocked me on social media and has turned my phone completely off I haven’t heard anything from them what can I do plz I miss my daughter and yes her mother. Plz help me

    1. You need to get an attorney immediately. As in, sell your car if you have to get some money together and hire someone. Now. If you wait a month, the judge will view it as “not really that important” to you.
      File an emergency motion for return of the children and/or for sole custody.
      Be very careful with the allegations of mental illness – not that it doesn’t help make your case partly, but because you never know what a judges personal life is like in this day and age. Many judges (more than 50% of people even) have mental illness like depression, etc., some of them judges, some of them kids or spouses of judges, and they might know that their child or spouse is seeking help and is perfectly healthy and take offense to it.
      Always remember that.
      However, it does go to a root cause of parenting issues, and there are potential psychological evaluations that might need to take place eventually.
      But file an emergency motion immediately, and get an attorney. But no matter what, get an emergency motion filed this week.
      Give us a call, one of our team members that is local can get some more details.

  10. I pay child support, am i entitled to know where the money is going? and also, is she supposed to provide me clothing, toothbrush ect. when I have him for my weekends and if anything else? Thank You!

    1. Nope. Child support is just money to the other parent. You do not get the right to ask for an accounting. It is not necessarily for “toothpaste, clothes, food” but also for gas in the car, utility bills, rent, and other things.
      And don’t ask the judge that question, they get EXTREMELY upset!
      If they are not being cared for, perhaps a change of custody is in order?
      For your weekends, generally you are responsible to have items that are necessary for your parenting time. There is a difference, however, with things like winter coats, that should travel with a child when he is with one parent and goes back and forth.
      But things like pants, t-shirts, etc., should just be at both of your houses at all times.

  11. I have a question, how do you build a case against the mother who is an alcoholic and the children do not want to live with the mother? They prefer to live with their father?

  12. What rights do I have for my child that is a 21 years old about to turn 22 years old who’s mother is for the past 7yrs has made excuses and kept myself from seeing him being that I moved to the state of NC 7 years ago, communication with him has been cut off, and his characteristic are the mindset of a 13 to 14 year old? Mind you of the 21 years of his life I was in the home and his daily life for 14 of those years with my son, my ex (his mother), my daughter by a previous relationship whom I had custody of since her age of 10 years old and she’s now 29 yrs old and a college graduate. Please help me!!!

  13. What rights do fathers have when the child is 23 is autistic but living with mother and the child is experiencing real concerning health issues and the mother does not do anything about it?

  14. cheryl e nielson

    How sad that a woman can have 5 children by 3 different dads possibly4, doesn’t work, has a revolving door of boyfriends in and out of the home she lives in with her parents and your son is the only one paying child support! To make things even worse the worthless mother has more rights than the father just because she a stay at home mom with her boyfriend! The system works for the mother not the father because she spends more time with the child while the father is out busting his butt making a living for his child! The mother even has a mental disorder but according to the system that’s ok. The system is broken and will never change! Thank God I had boys and no girls.

  15. 50/50 Custody- no child support is the only solution and will not happen until Title IV-D is repealed as it is unconstitutional. People are being extorted by a system purporting to be helping them. There is no ‘best interests of the children.’ The ‘children’ are merely cattle in this charade.

  16. Skylar Williams

    I never knew that the father is entitled to child support if he is in primary custody. I just thought the mother had that right. My brother is going to love this news. He’s in the process of a rough divorce.

        1. Does separated mean broken up and unmarried, or married and have not yet filed a divorce case? In either event, you need to file with the court: either a petition to establish paternity and for visitation / parenting time; or a petition for dissolution of marriage and a motion for parenting time / visitation.

          Your rights are basically only granted by the courts via court order. Technically, if you are married, and you pick the kids up and bring them home, her recourse would be the same as yours – go to court. But until you do so, there is no one that can enforce your father’s rights – that is what a judge will do. So get started immediately by speaking wiht an experienced child custody attorney or divorce attorney and start seeing your kids. Best of luck.

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