Search

divorced dad child custody lawyerAs a father, divorce can be a frightening prospect, since it will most likely mean that you will have less time with your children, and you may worry about whether you will be able to be as involved in your kids’ lives as you were during your marriage. However, ending your marriage does not mean that you will have to take on a secondary parental role. As you and your spouse determine how you will handle the custody of your kids, you should be sure to understand the steps you can take to protect your parental rights. By making sure you will be able to share in parental responsibilities, you can continue to be a fully involved parent and the great dad your kids need.

Sharing Custody and Parenting Time

In the stereotypical divorce, the mother is awarded primary custody of the couple’s children, and the father is relegated to only seeing kids on a limited basis, such as every other weekend. However, this idea is a relic of the past based on old attitudes toward families and parenting. Many of today’s marriages are different than they were in previous generations, and when both parents are closely involved and play equal roles in their children’s lives, child custody arrangements should reflect this.

While the divorce laws are different in each state, in most cases, they do not favor either mothers or fathers when addressing child custody. Instead, they usually state that all decisions that are made should be based on what is in the children’s best interests. If you and your spouse worked together to make decisions about how your children should be raised, you should both continue to have the right to make these decisions following your divorce, and you should both have reasonable amounts of parenting time with your kids.

...

holiday parenting time family law attorneyFor many people, the holiday season is an opportunity to travel to visit with family members or enjoy vacation activities. Divorced parents may make travel plans for the days that their children are out of school, and this can be a great opportunity to make new memories. However, many of these plans have been upended in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. If you are a single father who is planning to travel with your kids over the holidays, or if you are concerned about how your ex’s travel plans may affect your children’s safety, you should be sure to understand the best ways to address these issues.

Reviewing Your Parenting Agreement

Before making any travel plans, you should be sure to understand your rights and requirements as defined in the parenting agreement created during your divorce. This agreement should specify the days that your children will be spending with you during the holidays, and understanding your parenting time schedule during this time can ensure that you will be able to plan properly. If either you or your ex makes travel arrangements that do not fit into your holiday parenting time schedule, you may agree to make adjustments as needed. By being flexible, you can help your children enjoy their holiday time with both parents while ensuring that you have the time you deserve with them.

Your parenting agreement will also specify any rules that you and your ex must follow when traveling with your children. For example, a parent may be required to notify the other parent before they travel out of state with their children, provide an itinerary for a trip, and relay contact information at different times and locations.

...

dads divorce law parenting agreementEven though divorce can be a difficult and emotional process, parents will usually want to do everything they can to protect their children and make sure their needs will be met both during the divorce process and in the years to come. If you and your ex can agree to work together as co-parents to do what is best for your children, this can help you avoid a great deal of stress and conflict. A well-crafted parenting agreement is key to successful co-parenting, and you will want to make sure your agreement addresses your family’s needs and protects your rights as a father.

Elements of a Good Parenting Agreement

Your parenting agreement, which may also be referred to as a parenting plan, should clearly describe how you and your ex will handle matters related to your children going forward. It should include terms addressing:

  • Legal custody - Your agreement should fully detail how you and your ex will share in making decisions about how your children will be raised. Some states refer to legal custody as the “allocation of parental responsibilities,” and different areas of responsibility may be addressed, such as education, healthcare, and religion. You should be sure your parenting plan specifies each parent’s rights and responsibilities in making these decisions for your children.

    ...

Myths about child custody and child support for dadsIt has been a commonly repeated idea for decades that women generally receive custody of children more frequently than men do. There are several reasons why this has been historically true. However, societal perceptions and state laws are both changing, and in most cases, these changes are to the benefit of the children. There is a significant amount of misinformation that persists when discussing the rights of fathers, and it is important to understand why some particularly pervasive myths are just that—myths.

Myth: Fathers Almost Never Get Custody

It depends on the applicable definition of “never,” but generally, this is untrue. The most recent available Census statistics show that fathers represent around one in five custodial parents—an improvement over the 16 percent of custodial parents reported in 1994. However, studies indicate that dads simply do not ask for custody as often as mothers do, and courts generally do not award what is not asked for in that regard.

A Massachusetts study examined 2,100 fathers who asked for custody and pushed aggressively to win it. Of those 2,100, 92 percent either received full or joint custody, with mothers receiving full custody only 7 percent of the time. Another study where 8 percent of fathers asked for custody showed that of that 8 percent, 79 percent received either sole or joint custody (in other words, approximately 6.3 percent of all fathers in the study). 

...

St. Charles father’s rights attorneyToday’s fathers are often much more involved in raising their children than those from previous generations. Married couples or unmarried parents are more likely to share in family responsibilities, and in many cases, both partners work full-time jobs, make decisions together, and cooperate on chores and household tasks. Unlike the stereotypical dads of the past who left most child-related duties up to moms, modern fathers will often play a vital role in caring for their children.

Unfortunately, when married parents choose to get a divorce or unmarried parents decide to separate, many dads feel that their role as a parent is minimized, and they may struggle with concerns that they will not be able to continue to be closely involved in their children’s lives. After years of changing diapers, making sure kids are properly fed and clothed, attending children’s activities and doctor’s appointments, helping with homework, and myriad other parental responsibilities, fathers will want to keep up this level of involvement and be the great parent their children deserve.

If you are getting divorced, or if you are an unmarried parent who needs to address the custody of your children, you will want to be sure you take the right steps to protect your father’s rights. By working with a Kane County family law attorney, you can gain a better understanding of your rights as a parent, the decisions you will need to make, and the best ways to reach an outcome that will provide for your children’s best interests. Some of the issues that you may need to consider include:

...
Back to Top