Within the broad area of family law, child custody is often one of the more contentious matters attorneys help their clients tackle. This is because it can be difficult to figure out what is best for the kids when a family is breaking apart. It is also due to deep-seated cultural beliefs about the roles mothers and fathers play in raising kids.
According to Psychology Today, there are five evolutionary reasons kids tend to rely more on mothers than fathers. Still, most child psychologists believe dads are just as important as moms when it comes to bringing up kids. In the family law context, the term, “fathers’ rights,” attempts to level the playing field.
What rights do dads have?
Like mothers, fathers should have the right to make important decisions about their children’s care and development. These decisions can center around religious practices, health care, education, environment, childcare and other important matters.
Dads also should have the right to spend time with their children. Moreover, if someone else wants to adopt your kids, you should have some say in whether the adoption goes through.
How can you protect your rights?
As you probably suspect, it can be difficult to assert your rights as a father if you do not have legal custody of your kids. Therefore, if you have lost custody, it may be worthwhile to explore gaining it again. This can take some time and effort, of course.
Ultimately, because it is easier to protect your rights than to restore them, you should understand all your legal options before beginning a divorce or custody battle.