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What are my rights as a father?

Anyone who has been involved in a divorce understands how difficult it may be to settle child custody decisions. But even if the mother of a child has been granted child custody, it is important to understand and for both parties to recognize the rights of the father. If you are the father of a child or children involved in a divorce, depending upon the relationship between you and the mother of your children, you may have to fight for these rights.

There are a few different ways that child custody could be determined in the court of law. Physical and legal custody means that one parent has a majority of the time with a child, while shared custody means that the time between parents is shared equally and all decisions regarding the upbringing of the child are shared as well.

If you have not been granted custody of your child, you still have the right to spend time with your child or children. This time is typically determined while in the courts and is referred to as a parenting time agreement. In a perfect world, there are no problems between the parents and they are able to work together to assure that the parenting time schedule is met. But as we know, not everyone in the world is well-intentioned, and there may be situations where your time with children is limited by the other side, and your relationship with your children may be compromised as a result.

The courts always consider the best interests of the children when making their child custody decisions. As we discussed last week, there are many factors that are taken into consideration when making this decision. It is important when entering the court to prepare yourself in an effort to maximize the potential of getting a favorable outcome in court.

Source: findlaw.com, "Fathers' Rights," Accessed May 2, 2017

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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