In a divorce, fathers are often given short shrift and do not realize that they have custody rights. Despite the trend in recent years of granting joint custody to parents, the family courts often display more sympathy towards the mother. And fathers bear the financial responsibilities of spousal support, child support, and other related expenses while having limited time with their children.
Non-custodial fathers have little control and influence over their children's day to day life and are at the mercy of the court-determined visitation schedule just to see their children. This model of child custody has given birth to a father's rights movement which seeks to provide fathers with a larger and more active role in their children's life.
The Best Interests of Your Children
The family courts award child custody based upon the best interests of your children. Sole or joint custody for fathers is awarded when a judge determines that such a custody arrangement is most beneficial to the children involved. The family courts consider several factors to determine custody awards including:
- The child's wishes
- Any history of abuse or neglect
- Parenting history
- Household stability
- Each parent's time availability for raising a child
- Personal behaviors of each parent
Joint custody can often be the best solution in a difficult situation. A joint custody arrangement allows the parents to share rights and responsibilities in raising their children. Under joint custody a parenting plan details which parent makes the major decisions affecting the child, which parent the child lives with, and other legal and physical custody issues.
The law is finally catching up with the fact that a father has the right to be involved in his child's life. To protect your rights as a father contact Pfister Family Law online or call (972) 370-5172 and schedule a consultation to discuss your child custody case.