Under Illinois law, fathers have just as much of a right as mothers do to be involved in the lives of their children. However, fathers do often have to fight for court-ordered visitation when a mother tries to deny a father parenting time. In some cases, this can be an uphill battle, and it can be wise for fathers to consult afathers’ rights attorney.
A case that is taking place on the East Coast is gaining national media attention after a father’s visitation rights were called into question because the man refused to take his 4-year-old son out to dinner at McDonald’s.
The man is in the midst of divorcing his wife, and during this process he has visitation with his son every Tuesday evening as well as every other weekend. On Oct. 30, he was taking his son out for dinner and the boy wanted to go to McDonald’s, according to the man.
The father says he put his foot down because the young boy had been eating too much unhealthy food. The father told his son that he would take him anywhere except McDonald’s but the boy continued to insist on going to the fast food restaurant. Ultimately, the father told the boy that he could choose something else to eat or he would have to skip dinner.
The boy then chose to skip dinner, and the father took him back to the mother’s apartment.
As a result of this parenting choice, a court psychologist asked a judge to eliminate or reduce the father’s visitation rights.
The father has now sued the psychologist for defamation.
This case is likely gaining so much attention because many parents – including some here in Illinois – have sent their children to bed hungry after they refused to eat a healthy meal. While some might question that style of parenting, few would think it would be grounds to lose visitation rights.
Of course, we do not know the history of this case. It has become a reminder, nonetheless, that fathers are often under intense scrutiny in child custody and visitation cases.
Source: Huffington Post, “Dad Branded Unfit Parent For Refusing To Take Son To McDonald’s, Lawsuit Says,” Jennifer Peltz, Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2013