Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Fathers still facing stereotypes in custody battles

Some fathers in New York who are going through a divorce may find that the stereotype that divorced fathers are lazy or even abusive still exists. Fathers might seek joint physical custody and find that courts still favor mothers, and mothers, concerned about losing control of their children, might fight to block fathers' access. As a result, some devoted fathers might find themselves facing a visitation schedule that permits only two weekends monthly with their children.

In other cases, fathers may have joint legal custody but find that mothers still control the information that they need to be equal participants in their children's lives. One father was told by his ex-wife that she did not have to inform him of the medical appointments she made for their child or the schedule for school events even though he had a court order that permitted him to attend. Fathers who do attend these events may find that they are not seen as having the same authority as mothers.

Some fathers may also find that mothers use loopholes in parenting plans to deny them any extra time with their children. A situation might arise like a father wanting to have his children in his wedding, but since this is not specifically covered, the mother might refuse to allow it.

Fathers who are concerned about any number of problems arising regarding custody ranging from denial of visitation time to how a relocation might be handled to the possibility of international abduction may want to discuss their concerns with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to work with the father to make sure that the concerns are addressed in the parenting plan and are based on the best interests of the child.

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