What are a father's rights in a divorce?
Children need their fathers just as much as they need their mothers.
One of the most important issues divorcing parents struggle with is visitation and parenting time rights. Fathers, in particular, do not have a clear understanding of their legal rights after a divorce where children are involved. Often times, fathers will give up equal or shared custody of their children because they think there is a gender bias in court and that mothers always win custody.
If you are going through a bad divorce, you know the process is difficult. If kids are involved, it is even harder. If you are a father who wishes to have primary custody or equal time with your kids post-divorce, consider the below.
During a divorce, the court makes decisions regarding child custody, child support and visitation rights. The decisions are generally governed under a “best interests” standard. One of the key factors the court will take into account is whether a mother or father was involved in parenting their children on a daily basis and how much time and effort s/he was invested in their lives. Some examples can include: getting the children ready for school, preparing meals, helping with schoolwork, transporting the kids to school, attending activities, involvement in activities, attending the children’s parent-teacher conferences at school or taking the kids to the doctor regularly. The court seeks to do what is in the best interest of the children and, as much as possible, maintain a steady foundation similar to what the kids are already used to.
It may seem unnatural, but visitation rights are not automatically a father’s rights. The terms of visitation are decided amongst you and your ex-spouse in a parenting plan or in family court if an agreement cannot be reached or a parent is denying the other visitation rights. Do not be afraid to fight for your rights to share custody of your children because you may not have a clear understanding of your legal rights or believe there is gender bias if your situation goes to court. The truth is, you will never know your legal rights if you do not try to understand them and you won’t know if there is a gender bias in court if you do not even attempt to get custody.
If maintaining a relationship with your children is important to you after your divorce, it is critical to be informed on your rights. Contacting a Chicago divorce lawyer like us will help you understand your legal rights. The court understands that both parents play an important role in their children’s lives. With proper representation and information, you may be able to receive more time with your children after the divorce.
DISCLAIMER-The information contained in this blog article shall not be construed as specific legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship or privilege. Further, this information is intended for general knowledge purposes only and is not intended to solicit legal fees.