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5 Common Misconceptions About Fathers' Rights in Custody Battles

Many still believe that fathers and men always receive worse treatment in a divorce. It is true that many judges still operate on traditional values and ideas. This reality can make it difficult to achieve a fair outcome in a divorce, and it takes a good attorney to break through this bias.

Legally, however, women and mothers do not have any greater right to custody in a divorce or separation.

To help clear up the confusion, let's dive into some common myths about custodial rights for single fathers.

Misconception #1 – Fathers Have Fewer Rights Than Mothers

Ostensibly, the court system is solely focused on the best interests of the child involved. Gender should have no bearing on custody decisions.

Fathers and their attorneys should work to prove that staying involved is best for the child. They can do this by providing evidence of the help and emotional support they give the child. In more extreme circumstances, a father may be forced to expose the mother, proving that she is unfit for custody or visitation.

Misconception #2 – Men Are Automatically Responsible for Paying Child Support

The truth is, child support is a legal obligation that both parents pay. The court system considers various factors when determining how much each contributes, including income, expenses, and custody arrangements. The custodial parent spends money on the kids directly, buying them food, clothes, and so on. The other parents help with these expenses through child support payments.

If the mother makes more money, they will likely pay some form of child support to the father, depending on the custody arrangement.

Misconception #3 – A Father Cannot Get Custody, Even if He Makes More Money

A parent's financial resources are a part of all custody decisions, regardless of their gender. The court's primary concern is the child's best interests, which include access to necessary resources and support.

Financial stability does not necessarily make someone a better parent, but it can impact a child's lifestyle and well-being. The court looks at all aspects of parenting, both financial and emotional. If the father is an all-around better parent, and he makes more money, he is a good candidate for child custody.

Misconception #4 – Fathers Cannot Get Sole Custody of Their Children

To repeat, the court's primary concern is always the best interest of the child. This means that both parents, regardless of gender, have equal opportunity to receive sole custody.

As we’ve stated already, you must demonstrate that you can provide the best environment for your children. Work closely with your attorney, and they can help you build a strong case for support.

Misconception #5 – A Father's Criminal Record Disqualifies Him from Custody or Visitation

A court will indeed consider your criminal history during custody proceedings. However, this record is not necessarily the determining factor.

The history itself matters. For instance, if you were convicted of a non-violent crime, the court may not see you as a danger to your children. Even if you have a violent past, you can demonstrate that you have been through the necessary counseling, and you have reformed.

The most important aspect of child custody is your ability to provide a safe and stable environment, regardless of your past mistakes.

The Law Office of David A. Martin & Associates is here to help protect good fathers during custody disputes. We can assist you with initial custody decisions and modifications. For a free consultation, you can call our office at (916) 299-3936 or contact us online.