Father’s Day brings a focus on fathers’ rights in family law

According to a study by the Pew Research Center, statistics support a new reality concerning American fathers, namely this: Literally millions of them have spent time in the house being “stay-at-home” dads, with the number of men doing so in recent years nearly doubling from a generation ago.

That little nugget of news alone would likely keep the issue of fathers’ rights front and center currently in family law matters. There is far more, though, that has emerged to additionally support the idea these days that dads matter greatly in their kids’ lives and need to be ensured a fair deal in divorce proceedings.

Like books, for example. One of them is entitled “Do Fathers Matter? What Science is Telling Us About the Parent We’ve Overlooked.”

The book’s author says that a fresh focus needs to be placed on the critically important role that dads play in their children’s lives. A core takeaway from the book stresses that having dads around in meaningful ways post-divorce promotes the development of emotional and physical health in kids.

There is no question that times have changed and deflated age-old stereotypes concerning family realities and parental roles. Far more women work these days than in yesteryear, and many more dads embrace a stay-at-home role. Courts have increasingly recognized changes by stressing equitable parenting time and shared custody.

One attorney cited in a recent media article on family law and fathers’ rights says that what needs to always be the focal point in divorces involving kids is the best interest of those children, not the parental gender issue.

In other words, both women and men — moms and dads — have an important role to play, with shared custody often being an optimal outcome when both parents obviously love and care for their kids.

Source: Detroit Free Press, “More dads demand equal custody rights, reject child-support arrangements of yesterday,” Sharon Jayson (USA TODAY), June 14, 2014

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