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Custody

Fathers Have Rights, Too

“Is my state a father’s state, or a mother’s state?” It’s a common question, and we get it all the time from clients worried about gender bias in our courtrooms.  Father’s rights cases are on the rise.  You hear men in divorce cases concerned, “fathers have rights, too”

Family law statutes in most states are intentionally gender blind. There are no statutes, or valid case law, which support the notion that either the father or mother is a better parent. This notion doesn’t mean, however, that fathers and mothers aren’t subject to some bias throughout the process.

It wasn’t long ago that many state courts subscribed to the “Tender Years” doctrine, which declares that a mother is a better parent for younger children. Even though these statutes, and supporting case law, have been “off the books” for at least a couple decades, the “tender years ghost” still haunts the process.

So, it’s a valid concern especially for fathers who often feel disadvantaged by the role they’ve played as the family breadwinner.  Also, fathers feel fell prejudiced with claims they were not as directly involved in the day-to-day activities of the kids as the stay-at-home parent. Traditional roles often work well when the family structure is intact but can prejudice both parties when the fabric is ripped apart by divorce.

There’re many people involved in the process of getting a divorce.  Anyone of these may be unconscious bias based on traditional family structures. The list of professionals involved in your case may include the following:

  •    Lawyers
  •    Judges
  •    Mediators
  •    Child and family investigators/ parental responsibility evaluators
  •    Professional decision-makers
  •    The parties
  •    Parenting time supervisors

Overcoming conscious, or subconscious, bias is challenging, due to the limited opportunity to confront it. It’s essential, then, to retain professionals with successful experience defending against this bias and protecting a father’s rights.

Attorneys Protection

Nationwide, men seek father’s rights attorneys for a variety of reasons. Some feel threatened that their kids will be taken away by the other parent.  And others think the justice system is stacked against them.

Either way, our divorce attorneys can fight to establish and protect your rights as a father. Don’t let the state’s flimsy definitions of fatherhood and paternal responsibilities limit the options between you and your child. At Modern Family Law, we deliver strategic legal representation for fathers, and we fight for dads.

Why Modern Family Law?

We provide legal services and consultation in the areas of:

  • Alimony
  • Child custody
  • Dissolution of marriage
  • Child support
  • Annulment
  • Paternity disputes
  • Legitimacy of claims
  • Granting of guardian status
  • Visitation rights
  • Emancipation
  • Foster care
  • Fathers have rights

It’s essential to have competent legal counsel in these cases. Our divorce attorneys fight for father’s rights across the board. So, don’t give up in the face of paternal disputes which seem impossible to overcome; get the legal help you deserve.

Decision-Making Rights

Fathers play an essential role for children, especially in the decision-making aspect. And having the ability to make decisions regarding the child’s education, health care, religion, and other relevant factors can make a big difference in the child’s upbringing. As a father, you should have your say.

Often in custody cases, a court will decide decision-making responsibility. Unlike physical custody which determines the residence of the child, legal custody determines who will make important decisions for the children. Fathers should be involved in these critical decisions for their children.  Sometimes, men need to fight to protect a father’s rights to make these crucial decisions for their children.

Alienation Advice

Far too often, fathers’ rights attorneys see cases where parental alienation is at the core of the proceedings. Parental alienation is when a parent tries to turn a child against the other parent and bad mouthing him. This may be a mother lying to the child regarding fathers’ behavior, in an attempt to sway the child’s feelings.

If you are in this situation, our paternity attorneys can help prove to the courts that the mother of your child has attempted to ruin the bond you two share.  Prove that the mother is unfit to care for the child by establishing alienation. Fathers have rights, too.

Securing Time

“Visitation” is what we used to call parenting time.  This term implied ownership of or possessory interest in children instead of describing the responsibilities associated with being a father.  Now known as “parenting time,” this period is allotted for parents to do more with their child than have fun.  Therefore, courts view parenting time as a responsibility, too.

Parenting time is set for the non-custodial parent to become fully involved in a child’s life, even while not having custody. This includes:

  • Participating in events
  • Helping the child with homework
  • Designating chores
  • Having a good time

Finding the right balance between parenting and just having fun can strengthen the bond between father and child. Also, it will go a long way in determining the amount of parenting time the father will receive. Parent’s wishes, the child’s wishes, and any history of criminal or domestic abuse charges can all impact the amount of time a father will have to spend with his child.

Posted January 14, 2019
by: MFL Team


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