Fathers Have Rights Too
Fathers are no longer sidelined by merely being the Father. In fact, no matter how old your children are, and no matter what your previous history has been with the children, courts encourage relationships with children and Fathers to flourish. Every child needs their Father, and every Father needs their child.
Mothers’ Rights vs Fathers’ Rights
There is no such thing as a Father’s rights being more or less important than a Mother’s rights. Parental rights are very important, and parental rights are superior to all other rights (for example, superior to grandparent’s rights). The claim of Mother vs. Father, based upon gender alone, is non-existent in any legal context.
A Father’s Rights in Divorce
What rights do Fathers have in a divorce or a family court case? Fathers have the same rights as any other parent. Fathers have the right to equal, meaningful parenting time with their children. If the Father is the primary caretaker of the children’s needs, then that Father has a claim to be deemed the residential parent, where the children reside more than 51% of the time.
If the Father is deemed the residential parent, then that Father also has rights to receive child support on behalf of the children. Fathers may also be joint-residential parents, spending equal (50/50) time with the children; and Father may also be sole legal and sole residential parents in circumstances with the Mother (or other parent) is not fit to share in legal custody of the child(ren).
Fathers may also be the non-residential parent, meaning the children reside less than 51% with them. However, they are also entitled to substantial, meaningful visitation with their children on a routine and consistent basis. This also includes holidays, and special occasions.
Fathers have equal rights relating to major decisions regarding their children and the right to receive/retrieve the children’s professional records (i.e., medical and/or educational, etc.). Father’s typically must also sign off on obtaining a passport or traveling outside of the country.
A Father’s Custody Rights
A Father’s right to custody is the same as a Mother’s right to custody.