What Rights Do Fathers Have in Custody, Support & Visitation?

During a divorce a father has a certain set of rights that they have inherited just by being a father. Maintaining or upholding those rights, however, might not come automatically. Instead, a father going through a typical divorce today may have to fight for his right to take care of and see his children.

Child Custody, Support & Visitation Rights for a Father

There is an old notion in family law that a mother’s instincts and nurturing nature outweighs and takes precedence over the paternal instincts of a father. This is an antiquated idea based on social stereotypes or fitted roles that have been changing consistently over the decades. Today, more and more people understand that a father’s rights regarding child custody, child support, and visitation are equal to his wife’s.

In a divorce, the court should consider the following fairly, not based on a person’s sex:

  • Child Custody: Unless there is reason to suspect an abusive parent-child relationship, a father begins with the right to see his child just as often as the child’s mother. If a mother does not exhibit responsible behaviors, the father should get sole physical and legal custody.
  • Child Support: Speaking of notions that have been slowly rewritten over time, fathers are not expected to be the only breadwinner in an American family anymore. Quite oppositely than what was going on in the past, people generally expect their spouses to contribute a reasonable amount of finances to the family, earned through their own career. To this end, father’s that did not have the higher or the two incomes may require and deserve monthly child support payments from their exes.
  • Visitation: In line with child custody orders, visitation schedules should also be drafted in a way that does not unjustly exclude the father. Most family psychologists agree that a child benefits from interacting with and being raised by two parental figures. Blocking a father from seeing his children could be detrimental to everyone.
If you need help protecting and upholding your rights as a father going through a divorce in New York, you should consider taking legal action to set things right. The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC and our Dutchess County divorce attorneys are passionate about giving everyone their fair say in their own divorce. Schedule a consultation with our award-winning team to learn about what we can do for you and your child custody case.
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