The role fathers play in their children’s lives has changed significantly in recent decades. Today, fathers are much more hands-on with raising their children than they were in past generations.
Additionally, gender roles have shifted as more women are working outside of the home and more men are taking on roles inside of the home. Our nation’s family courts have had to adapt as a result of these changes and others.
In the past, mothers were almost always awarded primary custody of their children while fathers were granted visitation rights, typically every other weekend. But fathers today are demanding more.
Most fathers are no longer willing to only see their children on weekends, and they want to help make important decisions regarding their children’s lives. Luckily, some courts are lawmakers are taking the requests seriously.
In some states, lawmakers are making child custody laws more gender-neutral and judges are willing to look past gender when deciding what type of custody arrangement is in the best interests of the child.
The efforts are supported by research showing that children fare better physically and emotionally when they have a close relationship with both parents.
However, many family law attorneys will still agree that fathers in child custody battles face a harder time than mothers in most jurisdictions. Additionally, there are still mothers in Illinois and the rest of the country who try to deny fathers parenting time in effort to keep the father out of their lives.
For these reasons, it’s still extremely important for fathers to have an experienced family law attorney fighting for their rights in child custody, paternity and visitation cases.
Whether the father is trying to establish paternity or fighting for equal custody rights during a divorce, a family law attorney who advocates for fathers’ rights can be a huge asset.
Source: USA TODAY, “More dads demand equal custody rights,” Sharon Jayson, June 14, 2014