Images of a family are often equipped with a mother, father, daughter and son. And when that family is separated through divorce, the image changes to a mother with her children in the family home while the father is in a new home that the children visit sporadically. While society has often portrayed a mother maintaining primary parental duties following a divorce, the reality is that both parents should be afforded equal parenting responsibilities and rights.
Thus, the movement of father’s rights was born, causing divorced and unmarried fathers to assert their rights when it comes to physical and legal custody of their children.
Basics of the father’s rights movement
The father’s rights movement began for a mix of reasons. A primary reason is parenting time. Fathers were habitually granted visitation as the noncustodial parent. Another reason was related to child support. Often, a father provides greater financial responsibility. This is often because the mother’s income is not considered in the calculation.
This movement began in the 1960s due to the father being left with little to no access to their children despite the amount of financial support that they provided. Over time, the advocacy through this movement has helped the father to attain fair child custody arrangements, or at least fairer.
Because greater parenting time is a focus of the movement, parents often seek shared custody nowadays. While this might give the same rights to each parent, this does not always equate to equal time. However, if the circumstances allow, a father could seek nearly the same amount of time as the mother.
Navigating family law matters, such as child custody, can be emotional and complex. Whether you are asserting your father’s rights, seeking modification of a current order or want to enforce the custody order in place, it is imperative that you understand your rights and options. This will better protect your rights and the best interests of the child.