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What are Your Child Custody Rights as a Father?

Child custody rights usually favor mothers simply because they are perceived as better caretakers of their children than fathers. However, this belief has been contested by many fathers who think they are equally capable of raising their children. In fact, the courts have gradually recognized that fathers, too, deserve custody rights over their children.

How the family courts decide

The courts decide custody rights according to the best interest of the child. The following factors are considered by the courts:

  • The physical and mental ability of the parents to take care of the child
  • Who makes the decisions involving the child
  • Who helps the child in his or her daily activities
  • Who has better finances to provide for the child’s needs

What are the types of child custody?

Legal custody gives you the right to be the main decision-maker for your child. In this type of custody, you have the final say about the health care, schooling, and other important aspects of raising your child.

On the other hand, physical custody allows you to have your child live with you. You can get both legal and physical rights in either sole or joint custody. Sole custody gives both legal and physical rights to only one parent. In contrast, joint custody allows both parents to share decisions regarding their children’s upbringing.

What causes a dad to lose his custody rights?

If you failed to get sole custody and if, for some reasons, you missed paying child support, these are not enough reasons for you to be deprived of your custody rights over your child.

Remember, you do not pay a fee for seeing your child. But, if you have caused harm to your child or to your ex-spouse, chances are you will lose your custody rights permanently. This may be reversed if the courts rule otherwise.

Children of divorced parents have to live with the trauma caused by the separation of their parents. Thus, their best interest must be served, regardless of who gains the custody.