When a male parent gets divorced, he may worry about how it will affect his relationship with his children. Courts often fail to recognize a father’s rights when making child custody decisions. If a father does not speak up for himself or have someone do this for him, he may lose the relationship he has worked so hard to build with his children. Divorcing dads should be aware of their parental rights and exercise these.
Determining who will get custody of the children is a major decision during a divorce. Both adults may worry that they will have less parenting time and less authority regarding important decisions like religion and schooling. Children are often just as scared due to the breakup of the family unit and changes that usually follow.
Parents should make child custody decisions that are best for their children. Research shows that having relationships with both parents is healthiest for a child. Though they technically have equal rights, fathers may have to fight harder for child custody because some courts still do not consider a mother’s and a father’s rights in divorce equal. To ensure that his voice is heard, a father should hire a family lawyer to represent him in custody negotiations.
Negotiation and agreement by the parents, with help from their attorneys, is the easiest and least expensive way to arrange custody. A good lawyer acts in the best interests of his or her client and prevents rights from being sacrificed. If parents cannot agree on custody, a family court must make this difficult decision and it is beneficial for a father to retain an experienced family lawyer to represent him.
Family law attorneys help fathers negotiate visitation or fight for custody and child support. Fathers can win custody of their children by illustrating that they are good caregivers. Though sole custody is typically granted only if the other parent is unfit, more fathers are sharing custody with the mothers of their children. Other fathers are receiving ample visitation so they remain strong parental figures.
Without a full understanding of the law, it is difficult to exercise a father’s custody rights in divorce so hiring an attorney with family law experience is worth the cost. Once a father understands his rights, he can build a strong case for custody or visitation with help from his lawyer. Male parents deserve to be involved in the lives of their children…they just need someone to help them exercise their rights.