It is a simple concept, but one that is often overlooked and misunderstood: Fathers have rights. Fathers have the same rights to their children that mothers have, and in family court, fathers have the same right to pursue parenting time and child support that mothers have. However, fathers can face greater challenges asserting this right and often, come into court already feeling defeated and ready to accept an unequal custody breakdown. This type of attitude only perpetuates court biases. Advocate for yourself and your rights by working with an experienced father’s rights lawyer.
You have the right to seek as much parenting time as your former spouse.
In Indiana, the court uses a variety of factors to determine the parenting plan that is best for a child. One of these factors is which parent acts as the “de facto custodian,” the adult who provides the day-to-day care the child needs like managing his or her homework, scheduling doctor appointments, and fixing meals for the child. Often, but not always, the child’s mother fulfills this role. The court can be quick to assume that a child’s mother is his or her de facto custodian.
You also have the right to pursue child support to help you cover the costs associated with raising a child. If you have custodial time with your child, you have the right to child support from your former spouse in accordance with Indiana’s child support guidelines.
Family dynamics today are much different from what they were when you were a child, and considerably different from what they were when your parents and grandparents were children. Despite these changes. like women participating in the workforce more and men taking on more childcare duties, many courts and judges have mindsets held over from earlier eras.
Come to court prepared to provide evidence that shows your involvement in your child’s life and your fitness as a primary caregiver. Documentation can include testimonies from your child’s teachers discussing your communication with them about your child, documentation showing how your work schedule has you at home with your children at times when your spouse is not, and any additional documentation you have that shows your fitness to provide for your children financially, physically, and emotionally. You always have the right to advocate for yourself in court.
Never let anybody tell you that you have less of a right to your children than your former spouse does because of your gender. A man has as much of a right to his children as a woman, and a parent in a same-sex relationship has the same rights as a heterosexual parent. To learn more about your parental rights and how you can protect them, contact our team of experienced family lawyers at The Bellinger Law Office today to set up your initial consultation.
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