When it comes to divorce with children, a lot of attention is given to mothers and their rights regarding child custody. This often leaves fathers feeling left out and excluded from the process of determining equitable visitation and time with their children.
Fathers do have rights when it comes to parenting, child custody, and visitation arrangements in a divorce. As a father, you should feel comfortable exercising these rights to ensure that you can maintain a healthy and solid relationship with your children both during and after the divorce process.
Your rights as a father
Many fathers going through the divorce process are not aware of the fact that there is an active and vibrant fathers' rights movement in the United States. This movement encourages and supports fathers in their desire to exercise their rights regarding family law matters, including child custody and child support. You should not feel that you are at a disadvantage during the divorce simply because of the fact that you are not the mother.
Specific issues facing fathers
Some of the specific issues that fathers face when they go through the divorce process include paternity and child support, both of which can, directly and indirectly, affect matters regarding custody and visitation rights. For example, an unwed biological father can claim his paternity rights so that he can gain visitation. This requires a DNA test to prove that he is the biological father of the child or children. This can be a complex process, and it is best to undertake a paternity case with the assistance of a family law attorney who can guide you through the process.
Child support is another pressing issue that many divorcing fathers struggle with. The courts take many different factors into account when determining the amount of child support, including each parent's income and tax status as well as the children's expenses and any special needs the children may have.
Do not feel intimidated if you are a father facing divorce. You do have rights, and you can and should exercise those rights. Research more about the fathers' rights movement, and when you are searching for an appropriate family law attorney to help you, be sure to inquire about your prospective attorney's approach to these rights and your specific situation.