When a couple with children gets divorced, sometimes it’s assumed that the children will live with their mother full-time. Moms might be amenable to the kids spending every other weekend with their dad; sometimes, a mother might not even want to allow that. It’s important for both mothers and fathers to remember that moms don’t get to call all of the shots in most cases. Divorced father rights are important too. It’s also important to remember that both parents should be acting in the best interest of the children. Read on for a list of tips for both moms and dads who want to ensure that everyone in the situation is treated fairly, most of all the children.
Kids Do Best When They Can Bond With Their Dad
Except for extreme cases (such as when abuse or neglect is involved), children do best when they can have a bonded relationship with both parents. This means that for the sake of the children, it’s important that divorced father rights are followed and the child have involvement with their dad.
There is research that shows that children are physically and emotionally healthier when they have a relationship with their dads. Kids with involved fathers have higher IQs and do better in school. They have better self-esteem and are less likely to get into trouble than their peers who don’t have relationships with their fathers. They might even live longer! Even if it’s not full custody, divorced father rights allow for the child to have a healthy relationship with thier father in addition to their mother.
Moms Are Not Necessarily More Capable Parents
In the history of marriage and divorce, mothers have long been considered to be the more nurturing parent. In 2017, we now know that this is not the case. Mothers and fathers can bring different characteristics to their children, but neither is intrinsically better or worse at taking care of their family.
It’s important for both parents to realize that fathers can be just as capable as mothers. In some marriages, the mother will do the bulk of the childcare and she might assume that the father can’t manage bathtime, feeding, giving medication, dealing with teachers, and all of the other things that go along with taking care of a child. When given the chance, however, most divorced fathers will be able and willing to handle these tasks.
Whether you are a mother or a father, recognize that a child’s male parent is just as capable as the female parent. Of course, there can be individual factors that make this untrue in a particular situation, but for the most part, divorced father rights should be considered and both parents can and should be actively involved in caretaking.
Shared Custody Can Mean Different Things in Different Situations
Many times, parents confuse legal custody and physical custody. When parents say that they want 50/50 custody or full custody, they don’t always specify which type of custody they mean. In many cases, parents assume that 50/50 custody means that they will each have their child 50 percent of the time. Most of the time, that’s not how it works out despite both the mother and divorced father rights.
Physical custody, which is what most parents mean when they say they want custody of their child, has to do with where the child lives. Most of the time, the child has a primary residence with one parent and visitation with the other. This is shared child custody rights, even though the child is not spending exactly 50 percent of the time at each home. It is important to keep divorced father rights in mind here as most people assume the child will live with the mother.
Legal custody has to do with who makes decisions regarding the children’s medical and educational needs. Most of the time, both parents have legal custody of their child. This means that both parents can have input on decisions such as where the child goes to school, who their doctor is, and whether they have elective medical procedures. Legal custody also falls under divorced father rights when it comes to their children.
How Dads Can Be There for Their Kids
If you are a dad who is worried about not getting the chance to have meaningful interaction with his child depending on your divorced father rights, here are some tips for working through this situation:
- Work out a parenting plan with your child’s mother. This is a document that a judge has to approve. If the two of you can figure out the details of which parent the child will be with on which days, how you’ll handle transferring the child from one home to the other, and who he or she will spend holidays with, it can become an enforceable document as part of your divorced father rights.
- Consult with a legal resource center. They can help you find out how to get a fair trial when it comes to custody of your child. They can also encourage you to seek mediation, refer you to the legal professionals you need, and do parenting evaluations.
- Petition the court if you believe that your child’s mother is purposely alienating you. There is a pattern of abnormal behavior that sometimes happens during a divorce called malicious mother syndrome. It can negatively affect your relationship with a child, so it’s important to be aware of it and to take steps to stop it from happening.
Talk to one of the legal advisors at National Family Solutions to find out more about your divorced father rights.