In the event of a divorce, dads often end up being a non-custodial parent, while moms are awarded child custody. This might not be surprising because many states had a principle called Tender Years Doctrine. This principle automatically awarded child custody to the mother, particularly if the divorce involves a younger child. The Tender Years Doctrine routinely considered fathers as the financially supporting parent as well.
However, fathers now have the same parenting rights as the mothers since many states discouraged gender preferences in divorce and custody laws. Most states also enact statutes that encourage equal parenting time for parents in a divorce. Even if the state does not enact equal parenting statutes, there is legislation and proposals that impact the ruling of many judges. Some judges also consider both parents on an equal basis. The newest crop of judges can considerably accept the new definition of family together with father’s rights.
With equal parenting, there is a possibility that fathers may obtain a lower child support obligation for their children.
Although the definition of a family changes over time, fathers, whether they are divorced or unmarried, have equal opportunities when it comes to the family law issues impacting their children. These issues may include child custody and child support. Both parents should be aware of any changes in the law that may affect their family law situation.
Source: Huntington News, “Dads and Divorce: You’re More Than Just a Wallet” Howard Iken, Dec. 23, 2013