Way back in 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau showed that only 17.4% of primary or custodial parents in the country were men. This statistics meant that for every 100 couples who ended up getting divorced, only 17 men were granted full custody of their children.
From these numbers, it can be inferred that fathers’ rights were given little consideration and for many years, it was assumed that after divorce the father would be completely uninvolved. However, according to President Obama, children whose fathers are actively involved demonstrate the following:
– Heightened mental dexterity
– Higher empathy level
– Lesser stereotyped gender preferences
– More self-control
So, the government is now working on improving legislation’s concerning fathers’ rights. In general, many states have the following father’s rights to his children already in place:
- Right to claim or acknowledge paternity – If a father is not married to his child’s mother upon the birth of the child, he is granted the right to establish paternity via a state’s Office of Child Support Enforcement.
- Prevent or bar third-party adoption without consideration of his rights – Unmarried men who go their ex pregnant and suspecting a plan for adoption initiated from her end without his consent has the right to prevent the process.
- Give ongoing financial help or support – Establishing paternity would simultaneously open a father’s right to provide financial support to his child. To determine the amount a father is suppose to provide, factors such as employment and financial history would be considered.
- Retain a good relationship with his children – Men who acknowledge their paternity also have the right to maintain a relationship with their children via regular contact or phone calls.
- Spend time with his kids regularly via visitation arrangements – Fathers also have the right to enjoy a consistent visitation schedule as agreed by both parties and by supervising authorities.
- Get involved with collaborative parental decisions – A father sharing legal custody have the right to collaborate with his child’s mother on decisions pertinent to religion, education, or medical care.
- Apply for joint custody or co-parenting – Every state has child custody mandates established. Should a local court determine that both parents have been equally involved in nurturing their children prior to divorce, they could be granted joint custody.
In general, rulings regarding fathers’ rights can vary from one state to another.