Should Dads Fight for Joint Custody of Children During Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody and Visitation

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.

It is important to note that even if you and your spouse share equally in parental responsibilities, this does not necessarily mean that you will both have equal amounts of parenting time. In many cases, children will live with one parent most of the time, and even if parenting time is divided equally, one parent will usually be named the “custodial” or “residential” parent to ensure that children have a permanent address for school registration and other purposes. 

Even if you will not be able to have your children stay with you exactly half of the time, you can still advocate for as much time as possible, ensuring that you will be a constant and reliable presence in their lives. Decisions about parenting time or visitation will usually be based on how you and your spouse divided childcare tasks in the past, as well as your work schedules, your kids’ schedules for school and activities, and your ability to transport your children between your homes. 

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer

During your divorce, you don’t have to accept a role as a “lesser” parent. By showing that you play a crucial role in making child-related decisions and providing the care and support your kids need, you can ensure that you will be able to be involved in their lives in the years to come. When addressing legal issues related to child custody and parenting time, you’ll want to work with a family law attorney who can help you protect your parental rights. Your lawyer can advocate for you throughout your divorce proceedings and help you reach an outcome that will allow you to be the great dad your children deserve.



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