Though they may disagree on certain issues or methods, dads and moms are usually on the same page when it comes to childrearing. However, when parents decide to divorce, they often become polar opposites. Each may want custody of the children and wish to prevent the other parent from being involved in the children’s lives in any way.
Modern child custody laws do not automatically side with one parent more heavily than the other. Decades ago, courts seemed to automatically award child custody to most mothers, leaving fathers to fight for visitation time. Courts now recognize that a mother’s and a father’s rights are equal. Judges make child custody decisions based on what is best for the children, not what is best for either parent.
This is not to say that it is easy for most fathers to get custody. Modern-day fathers may have it easier than prior generations of male parents did but they still must prove that they are excellent caregivers. Fathers who want primary custody must go a step further, convincing the court that they are the better parents. This may involve the uncomfortable act of exposing poor choices or bad habits made by the mothers of their children.
Lawyers Help with Custody and Divorce
Fortunately, lawyers are available to advocate for a father’s rights in divorce. Family law attorneys specialize in divorce and custody situations, helping their clients exercise maximum rights granted by state and federal law. Each parent should retain a family lawyer before discussing child custody issues. The attorney for each parent will help negotiate custody and child support arrangements, attempting to keep the situation out of court.
If these legal professionals are unable to get parents to work out a custody arrangement, the case will go to family court. Each lawyer’s role will shift to preparing a case on behalf of his or her client and presenting this to the judge in a convincing way. Clients and their lawyers work closely to gather all relevant facts and supporting documentation required to sway the judge in their favor.
Being on equal ground in terms of parental rights means that neither parent is automatically at a disadvantage. It also means that each parent may need to work harder to win child custody. If you are a male parent who needs someone to help advocate a father’s rights in divorce, find a local family lawyer with enough experience to win the case.