In the past, it was a foregone conclusion that children went to live with their mothers after a divorce. However, courts have increasingly recognized the importance of fathers’ rights and that the mother is not automatically the most suited parent for custody. If you are a father fighting for custody of your children, talk to a divorce lawyer who understands the issues surrounding fathers’ rights in Paterson. Here is a look at some of the myths about fathers’ rights in divorces and how the facts might influence your custody case.
Myth: Children Should Always Live with Their Mothers
In the past, the courts operated under the so-called tender years doctrine. This doctrine assumed that children needed consistent love and care and that mothers are naturally better suited to fulfill those duties. Now, courts make custody decisions based on the best interest of the child. That means that your lawyer can ask that the court consider a wide range of issues when determining custody, including the ability of both parents to care for the children and who can provide the most stability for the kids’ daily lives. There is no longer an assumption that mothers are the better caregivers simply by virtue of being women.
Myth: Sole Custody Is the Only Solution
Child custody agreements are moving away from the model of one parent having sole physical and legal custody with the other parent having visitation. Instead, many courts are prioritizing joint custody agreements, in which children have two primary residences, and in the case of joint legal custody, parents make decisions about child rearing together. Your divorce lawyer can request this kind of agreement to ensure your kids maintain close ties with both parents.
Myth: Mothers Can Prevent Visitation
When the court determines a child custody agreement, your ex-spouse is required to abide by it. If you are denied access to your children, your lawyer can file a case to request that the court forces your spouse to abide by the agreement. While there are consequences for missing child and spousal support payments, failing to pay support cannot be used as an excuse to interfere with your visitation.