When it comes to matters of child custody, parents often begin on unequal footing. This is because many in Georgia still perceive parenting as the realm of the mother, while fathers are often viewed as playing a supporting role, at best. In reality, however, many fathers are as vital in the lives of their children as their partners, and when a marriage ends in divorce, these Dads expect to receive equal child custody rights.
Fathers facing a child custody battle should understand that they must begin with an aggressive stance toward their parental rights. This involves asking for equal or shared custody from the very beginning. Such an approach is strongly supported by recent research that indicates that fathers play an essential role in the lives of their children, and fathers must select an attorney who both understands this approach and is able to back it up with the findings of these studies.
Another tip is to avoid entangling the issues of child custody and child support. These are separate legal matters, and when a father makes the mistake of combining the two topics, he stands to be accused of seeking equal custody solely to reduce his child support obligations. Better to clearly delineate the two matters, and focus on a child custody arrangement that serves the best interests of the children.
By staking a strong claim to one’s parental rights, fathers can approach the court to ask for shared or equal parenting time. While there is still a pervasive attitude in Georgia that mothers generally receive child custody rights and fathers gain visitation rights, this is slowly changing. There is no reason why an involved father should be relegated to the role of occasional visitor in the lives of his children, and an aggressive bid for child custody rights can prevent that from taking place.
Source: Huffington Post, “Custody Battles: The Top Five Things Dads Should Know Before Setting Foot in Court,” Morghan Leia Richardson, May 23, 2013