The resolution of family law matters has traditionally favored female litigants. To this day, many courts continue to adjudicate child custody and child support matters in a manner that benefits women more than men. However, in recent years, the father’s rights movement has gained momentum. This sociopolitical movement seeks to ensure that fathers’ voices are heard, and that they interests are fairly represented in the family court system. Law firms such as Spodek Law Group are dedicated to protecting fathers’ rights in New York court proceedings.
The Basics of Fathers’ Rights
Despite the inherent bias towards women which exists in many courtrooms, men who are fathers have a genuine interest in the outcome of family court cases. The fathers’ rights movement asserts that men are entitled to fair resolutions of marital dissolution or child custody cases, and have the right to be an equal partner in the raising of children. An equal partnership means that fathers should be given equal time with the child and should only pay a fair share of child rearing costs.
One of the central concepts in fathers’ rights is that of shared parenting. This idea stresses that children are best served when both parents share in the child rearing responsibilities. Shared parenting (or shared custody) also seeks to give both parents an equal opportunity to impact the child’s life, and to participate in the joys of raising a young one. Shared custody orders are sought out by men who wish to exercise their rights as fathers so that they can fulfill their paternal role without becoming economically overburdened.
Establishing Paternal Rights
The first basic step for a man to establish his parental rights over a child is to prove paternity. A proper finding of paternity creates many important legal rights for a father. For one, the father has the right to has his name listed on the official birth certificate for the child. A verified father can also use the court process to argue for visitation or custody, or for future modifications to child support orders. Establishing paternity also allows the father to have his say in situations where the mother decides to give the child up for adoption.
A valid marriage also establishes a man’s rights in regard to a child. If the man and woman were married when the child was born, the father shouldn’t have any problems with establishing his right to interact with the child, or give input on the child’s future.
Types Of Rights Maintained By Fathers
Although many people assume otherwise, NY fathers share the same custody rights as mothers. With the help of a competent law firm, such as Spodek Law Group, it is even possible for a father to gain full custody over his children. A qualified lawyer can help you prove to the court that placing the child with the father is in the best interests of the child.
Even if a father is not seeking a full custody arrangement, competent legal help can help to get a fair settlement of custody issues. A fair shared custody arrangement or an ideal visitation schedule are also possibilities for men who seek such.
Another way an experienced law team can help out is with modifications for existing agreements. Child custody agreements and support orders sometimes require change. Men who undergo career changes or undertake new family responsibilities may need to modify a current agreement to make it more equitable. Men shouldn’t have to suffer in order to be a part of their child’s life, and Spodek Law Group can help make sure it doesn’t happen.
Rights In Adoption Scenarios
A mother doesn’t necessarily have sole authority in the decision to place a child in adoption. A child who is the product of a previous marriage cannot be placed for adoption solely at the mother’s desire. Whenever the ex-spouse (mother) begins the adoption process, she must relinquish her parental rights. Doing so automatically notifies the biological father that the process has been initiated, and allows him to provide input on the situation, or assert his parental rights concerning the child.
Even those fathers who were never married to the biological mother have rights in adoption situations. Fathers who have maintained a consistent relationship with the child still has to agree to surrender his rights over the child or to assert his desire to keep the child in a termination of parental rights proceeding. In general, men who have been involved in the child’s life are deemed “consent” fathers and have legal protections against losing their parental interest.
Even where a father is deemed to have no rights, he may still have legal remedies to prevent an adoption by the birth mother. With the help of an attorney, it may be possible to request that the court provide a judicial order confirming his status as a father without legal rights. In some cases courts will still use their discretion to allow a potential “no rights” father the ability to state his case in regard to the adoption.
Why Fathers’ Rights Are Worth Fighting For
Fathers’ rights are important simply because children deserve to have a caring father in their lives. There are proven psychological benefits for a child who is raised by both parents. Most children raised around both parents grow up well-adjusted, motivated, and with a high degree of self-esteem. Exercising your rights as a father, and maintaining involvement in your child’s life is perhaps the best gift you can give to your young one.
Furthermore, the court system’s age old bias against men in custody proceedings is very outdated. In modern times, where society embraces equal opportunity for women, men should also assert equal rights in areas where they have traditionally been overlooked. In the spirit of justice and freedom, men should feel obligated to assert their rights in family court not only for the benefit of their child, but for society as a whole.