Children need both parents. Yet, too often, scorned exes and archaic court systems limit fathers from time with their children (without minimizing the child support). Some fathers meekly go along with the agreement, while others fight. Learn more about fathers' rights in child custody cases below.
Paternal Custody Facts and Figures
When you know the current facts, you will have a better idea of what you're up against as a father in a child custody case.
- In over 50% of custody cases, both parents mutually agree that the mother is declared the custodial parent.
- Roughly 20% of custodial parents (guardians with sole physical custody or primary physical custody) are male.
- Males pay for 85% of child support payments every year.
- Roughly 50% of the people who pay child support are younger than 40 years old.
- Men pay an average of $4250 per year in child support payments.
- Roughly 40% of Democratic states and 22% of red states grant equal custody to mothers and fathers with the other states demonstrating preference toward the mother.
Paternal Custody Rights
While the odds tend to skew in favor of mothers, fathers have rights. The rights vary based on the state, so consult your family lawyer for information regarding the specific laws in your state.
Throughout the nations, fit and proper fathers have a right to reasonable custody of the child, whether that becomes visitation, joint custody, primary custody, or physical custody.
Fathers also have the right to take time off work to care for their children in the case of an emergency.
Finally, fathers can file to modify a current custody agreement.
How to Fight For Parental Rights as a Father
Fathers who want more custody must take the case to mediation. Child custody is determined out of court 91% of the time, saving money on an expensive trial. However, a father may feel pressured into signing an agreement that's not in his favor to end the tedious process. Fathers need someone in their corner to negotiate for them, such as a divorce settlement attorney. The attorney will negotiate the best terms for you according to the local laws and continue the fight from there.
When both parents are fit and proper, the court will usually offer both parents joint custody. Fathers should only expect primary custody or sole custody if the mother has a recent record of irresponsible behavior.
It should be noted that child custody and child support are different cases and must be handled separately. Reach out to a local custody attorney to learn more.