Some legal practitioners promote themselves as father’s rights attorneys, by providing services to men pursuing a divorce or need representation with child custody. But do these law firms really provide extra value or are they simply trying to capitalize on a specific niche?
Family law represents the practice area that covers issues related to both men’s and father’s rights. And most law firms usually provide assistance to both genders. In fact, Denver only has a handful of law firms that limit their clientele, or at least their targeted marketing efforts, to just men.
Based on the client reviews of some of the largest national father’s rights sites, it would seem to suggest that the concept of attorneys serving the needs of men do not provide any extra value over effective and intelligent legal representation.
Some of these niche firms are consistently producing unhappy clients. And when there’s an unorchestrated yet collective effort on the part of a law firm’s clientele to write negative reviews from the services they’ve received, the issue of men’s based legal representation should be addressed.
Law firms promoting men’s based legal representation claim that they possess special skills that can help their clients obtain favorable rulings based on their gender. Additionally, they claim that courts currently favor females when it comes to issues like child custody and parenting time. In their view, the well-documented discrimination that women once suffered in the legal system has now ensnarled men, especially when it comes to child custody.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, some states do still have a bias towards women when it comes to assigning child custody, dividing assets equally, and providing spousal maintenance (alimony) equitably. But overall, a more gender-neutral court system is taking traction nationally.
It’s absolutely essential for fathers to have exceptional legal representation, but the Colorado courts favor the best interest of the child, not the parties involved in a civil suit. Nor do they favor the gender of those parties. The courts will always attempt to salvage the family unit and place the child in an environment that serves his or her best interests.
With the exception of very young children, parties involved in a child custody case can expect to achieve equal parenting time with the child, barring any criminal activity on the part of either party. This balance is the healthiest for the child, and the function of an equally shared responsibility strives to place a child in the optimal family setting.
When couples challenge each other over custody rights, an attorney with experience representing fathers may have a huge influence in obtaining a favorable ruling for the father. But the emphasis here should be placed on experience and successful results, not on the counsel’s ability to limit themselves to only one gender.
Determining the relationship of the father the child’s life is essential to establishing custody rights in unmarried relationships. Colorado does recognize common law marriages, and this may go a long way in defining the relationship of a father to his son. But the simple act of having children together doesn’t constitute a common law marriage.
Other information that can be included as evidence of establishing fatherhood in Colorado includes the father’s name on the birth certificate, court-ordered child support payments, affirmation of fatherhood in writing, filing taxes jointly, etc.
By staking a claim in male clients, these law firms may be doing a disservice to their clients and their children. Colorado courts are extremely progressive, and they encourage mediation from the parties involved in child custody cases. Taking us vs them approach only benefits the law firm in its ability to charge for extra hours billed.
The suffering men face in divorce may be in large part self-inflicted. Following are a couple of areas where men may be most vulnerable.
When men are required to pay spousal maintenance (alimony) and/or child support as part of a divorce, the scheduled payments can become overwhelming. This is especially true if the spouse retains the marital home, and you’re required to find housing elsewhere.
Online budgeting software can make bill paying and saving money so much easier. Some of these budgeting apps directly import data straight from a personal checking account. Additionally, automatic bill pay through a bank or even through your employer can reduce the stress of missing some of those important bills.
Your attorney should be able to help you with your financial planning. She should have a thorough understanding of debt-to-income ratios and be able to help you create a budget based off of your income and expenses.
Not too long ago, women received preferential treatment when it came to child custody. For some men, that mindset still exists. It’s important to understand that fathers have just as much right to enjoy their parenting time as their spouse.
The assumption that an attorney who specializes in providing legal representation to only fathers can have a competitive advantage isn’t always true. Instead, the person best able to represent any case should be chosen based on their education, experience, and commitment to achieving a positive ruling for their client and their client’s children.
The Modern Family Law specializes in helping people with issues related to family law and divorce, regardless of their gender. Please contact us today for a free and confidential consultation.
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