No matter where you live in this country, it seems as though courts place a series of hurdles in the paths of fathers to exercise their rights in the event of a divorce, separation or any circumstance that could put distance between them and their children. However, these impediments to accessing your rights depending on several factors, including your state. In order to better understand the access fathers should have to their children in the state of New York, Raiser & Kenniff wants to make you are aware of your rights.
- Realities of Lost Visitation
Most would probably expect that any father who has been separated from their children and wants to obtain a degree of custody at some point would be given the same protections and ability to do as a mother wanting custody over their children. This, however, has not historically been the experience for many fathers in the past.
Depending on the criminal and civil histories of both the father and whomever is providing custody for the children at the time of custody, the tone of any further court interaction in determining custody will be set. Even with a clean criminal history and a character testimony to verify that a father is a reliable individual to provide constant care for their children, decisions of custody tend to favor the mothers disproportionately.
Even in the case of visitation, establishing some degree of familiarity with either parent, which could only be psychologically and emotionally for children, this opens the possibility for abuse by mothers who may want to limit access to her children in an effort to sway court opinion or selfishly settle some personal issue she may have with her spouse. This can be particularly damaging to the child, who can develop parental alienation syndrome due to the absence of their father’s presence.
Prolonged deprivation of fatherly interactions can forever change the relationship children have with their fathers well into adulthood, something that should be clearly detrimental to a child’s well being. This can also be increasingly frustrating for the father’s in question, as their participation in their children’s lives is drastically reduced or eliminated entirely yet their financial contributions to cost of raising their children will likely still be demanded by law.
These sets of circumstances create an environment where children can be alienated from a parent that is part of an equation that’s conducive to a healthy upbringing, meanwhile a father who wants to exercise their parental rights are continually barred from doing so while expected to pay out sums they may not be able to meet each month. But this isn’t the worst of circumstances a father may experience when trying to get custody of their children.
- Orders of Protection in New York
Though available throughout the state, fathers living in and around the metropolitan area (Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Suffolk, Westchester and Nassau) maybe subjected to a higher probability of being under an Order of Protection, which is an extra step mothers may take to remove custody of children from a father.
Prior to any investigation, a mother could contact her local police precinct and claim that she and/or her children have been subjected to abuse or that she merely fears for her safety from her husband or their father, and she has a high probability of being awarded an order of protection against him. This is not necessarily during the course of a 911 call where a situation of imminent danger can be determined by officers reporting to a scene but through a visit to a station house. Typically, the father would be removed from the home and his access to the premises removed.
At this point, the father’s open to contest this order in a court and request a formal hearing to determine the validity of any charge made against him. He has a good chance of receiving it, too, several months in the future. In some cases it may be a year or more.
On top of the damage this may do to the children’s home life due to what may be a conflict between parents, the father must now contend with an abrupt shift in his life that places undue burden on his person as he attempts to adjust in time.
- What’s a Dad to Do?
In order for New York fathers to access the rights that are at their disposal, to clear their names when unjustly charged and regain access to their children, official representation is a must. The attorneys at Raiser & Kenniff have the experience with the New York court system and law to make sense of your particular situation and provide the best defense that will lead to a fair conclusion to your legal complications.